Explosion at N. Hamgyong Province chemical factory kills four, injures 30
Two accidents recently occurred at the Myonggan Chemical Factory in Myonggan County, North Hamgyong Province, during a trial run of a sodium carbonate production line that had been repaired and expanded. “The Myonggan Chemical Factory had selected repairing and expanding its sodium carbonate production line as its goal for the first half of the year and had been devoting its efforts toward that project since January,” a source in North Hamgyong Province told Daily NK on Wednesday. “It’s already in its second trial run, but there have been several accidents that have caused many deaths and injuries, some mild and some more severe.” According to the source, the Myonggan Chemical Factory had been researching a new technique in the carbon-one chemical industry on orders from the North Korean authorities and had carried out its first test for integrating that technique into its production line in mid-January.
During the test, however, there was an explosion in which more than 20 people were injured mildly or severely. While this was a major accident, no one died, so it did not present a legal problem, the source said. But when the second test was carried out at the end of March, there was reportedly an even bigger explosion that claimed the lives of some workers. “The explosion in the second test was much more powerful than before. In the end, four people died in the accident, while 10 were severely injured and 20 made it off with mild injuries. I think this is going to be a bigger problem for the factory,” the source said. Significantly, the researcher who had been attempting to introduce the new technique onto the production line was seriously injured in the accident. The researcher was transferred to the provincial hospital but remains in critical condition and is in danger of permanent blindness. The other people who were seriously injured are all being treated at the provincial hospital, the source said. Source