Korean residents in the affected zone are still afraid to return home six weeks after the disaster that killed five workers
More than six weeks after eight tonnes of hydrofluoric acid was accidentally released at a chemical plant in South Korea, many of the thousands of local residents who fled the area at the time have reportedly not yet returned to their homes despite assurances from authorities that the area is now safe.
The highly toxic hydrofluoric acid was released on 27 September at the Hube Global chemical plant in Gumi, about 200km from Seoul. The leak killed five workers at the plant and severely injured at least 18 others, including workers and emergency personnel. The plant is reportedly still idle after the accident with no date yet set for resuming operations.
Hydrofluoric acid is used to produce chemical precursors for the pharmaceutical industry and has other industrial applications. Highly corrosive and an acute poison, exposure can cause death and serious damage to the skin, lungs, heart, bones and nervous system. MORE