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Home Out of the Box Hanwha Ocean reopens partially after fatal blast

Hanwha Ocean reopens partially after fatal blast

Hanwha Ocean (formerly Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering) resumed operations partially on 16 January, four days after a worker was killed in a blast.

The blast, on 12 January, is believed to have resulted from a gas explosion at Hanwha Ocean’s rudder manufacturing plant. According to the Korean Metal Workers’ Union, the incident happened around 3.19 pm local time.

It is believed that while grinding work was carried out on a rudder block, there was a gas leak. The explosion sent metal pieces flying around, hitting the deceased worker, who was flung more than 10 metres by the impact.

The worker, 28, was rushed to a nearby hospital but died an hour later.

The deceased worker was employed by one of Hanwha Ocean’s sub-contractors, and the South Korean ship builder suspended operations at its Okpo facility on 15 January.

The following day, South Korea’s Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) issued a stop-work order of rudder manufacturing plants 1 and 2. Hanwha Ocean consequently decided to resume work at other parts of the shipyard.

Hanwha Ocean said, "We reported the accident to the police and the Ministry of Employment and Labor immediately after the accident occurred, and we are doing our best to identify the exact cause of the accident and fix it, and we are making every effort to take measures to prevent a recurrence."

MOEL is investigating the cause of the explosion to determine if the Serious Accidents Punishment Act was breached.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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