Go to contents

Poisonous gas leak takes two people’s lives in shipyard restroom

Poisonous gas leak takes two people’s lives in shipyard restroom

Posted June. 28, 2021 08:58,   

Updated June. 28, 2021 08:58


Two workers of subcontractors died in a restroom of a shipbuilding yard located in Saha District, Busan, due to a leak of a harmful gas assumed as hydrogen sulfide.

It was reported by a company official at 11:04 a.m. on Saturday to the police that two workers surnamed Kang and Jeong were found lying on the floor in a restroom on the 1 floor of a building next to the shipbuilding yard, according the police and the Busan Metropolitan City Fire Department on Sunday.

Kang died 40 minutes after sent by relief dispatchers to a medical center. Coming in cardiac arrest, Jeong started breathing again for a while but ended up dead in a day. The two deceased victims worked for the shipyard’s subcontractor in charge of electricity and equipment.

High concentrations of hydrogen sulfide and ammonia leaking out of the restroom are presumed to result in the death of Kang and Jeong, according to the police authorities. Workers have submitted several reports to the district office that it smells poisonous and harmful severely on weekends and national holidays in the restroom. On the day of the accident, it smelled suspiciously awful, according to a company official.

Levels of hydrogen sulfide were 250ppm, 16 times higher than the safety standard of 15ppm, as of around 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, according to the firefighting authorities’ measurement data. Two rounds of ammonia measurement showed 67ppm and 56ppm, respectively.

The police authorities and the Nakdong River Basin Environmental Office reported that deadly gases might have come in via packing to prevent backward flow in a toilet bowl and an exhaust outlet, launching an in-depth investigation. They are working to check the causes of the fatal leak in cooperation with the Busan Environmental Corporation, the district office and the shipyard in charge of waste pipes, sanitary tanks and restrooms, each.

Yong-Hwi Jo silent@donga.com