Over 200 employees and residents were affected and treated at hospitals by the leakage of the oil vapor from Hanwha Total factory.
According to Hanwha Total and Seosan City in South Chungcheong Province on May 18, 202 residents received treatment at Seosan Medical Center and Central Hospital due to symptoms of dizziness, vomiting and pain in their eyes due to the leakage of the oil vapor the previous day.
The accident occurred for about 40 minutes from 1:17 p.m. on May 17 when the vapor leaked from the outdoor tank of the Hanwha Total's plant. The rise in tank temperature caused the oil residue inside to escape into the outside air. The rapid spread of the oil vapor has caused odors to spread to factories as well as surrounding villages.
Immediately after the accident, Hanwha Total's own response team sprayed water on the tank and lowered the temperature, preventing the tank from exploding.
However, around 3 a.m. on May 18, oil vapor leaked from the outdoor tank, which caused the accident the previous day, raising questions about the recurrence of the accident.
Hanwha Total explained that water vapor leaked again during the process of stabilization by injecting coolant foam into the tank of the accident, and that it was not a re-leakage of the oil vapor. As for the facilities, the Labor Office ordered them to stop working immediately after the accident the previous day.
Hanwha Total sent an apology under the name of CEO Kwon Hyuk-woong on its Internet homepage, saying, "The accident that occurred at the Daesan plant was caused by the rapid rise in the temperature of the storage tank in the factory, causing the leakage of oil vapor inside the tank and problems such as odor. We will prepare measures to prevent recurrence after being accurately diagnosed by the specialized agency."