Another toxic gas leakage accident occurred at the OCI Gunsan plant in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, causing growing anxiety among residents.
Some point out that the accident was repeated several times, so it was a "predicted man-made disaster." OCI has promised to come up with comprehensive measures for every gas leak, but accidents have been repeated.
According to the Saemangeum Regional Environment Agency on Nov. 21, there have been six cases of gas leakage at the OCI Gunsan plant since 2015.
At 10:25 a.m. on the same day, about 10 liters of the toxic substance was leaked from the factory, but there was no damage to workers and it did not spread to nearby private homes.
Factory workers that detected abnormalities locked the piping valve so that it did not lead to additional damage. However, given the gas leak occurred in the corroded valves, the level of disaster preparedness of the OCI is said to be extremely low.
On Nov. 14, nitrogen leaked from the old pipes of the factory, and eight workers were transported to the hospital. It was an accident in which workers dispatched for the plant's safety inspection replaced pipes.
"As accidents happened at the Gunsan plant one after the other, there is a greater risk of accidents and anxiety among residents is growing. We will manage and supervise the replacement of old factory facilities and management of workers," a Saemangeum environment agency official said.
"In case of an accident today, we detected a gas leak and shut off the valve immediately. We will prepare comprehensive measures to prevent a gas leak soon," said an OCI official.