Workplace tragedy unfolds at Japanese factory

by Adelle Chua01 Dec 2017
A 64-year-old man was killed and 11 others were injured in an explosion and fire at a chemical factory in Central Japan on Friday.

Arakawa Chemical Industries, which produces resin for printer inks and chemicals for the paper industry, is located in the foothills of Mount Fuji. The city is located some 100 kilometres from Tokyo.

Thick black smoke billowed out into the air from the factory, and 17 fire engines and almost 60 firefighters fought the blaze, reported Agence France Presse (AFP).

Residents from within 100 metres of the factory were ordered to evacuate, even as a company official who declined to be named said “there was no concern” that chemicals could pollute the environment in the neighbourhood. 

The factory operator denied the possibility of contamination or pollution even as officials said it was not immediately clear what exploded or burned.

Fuji City fire service official Takahiro Suzuki also said that three of the injured workers were seriously hurt. All of them were male, between the ages of 20 and 60.

The city is located in the foothills of the world-famous Mount Fuji, around 100 kilometres west of the capital Tokyo.

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