KOREAN POLICE are investigating a gas leak at one of Samsung's chip plants that led to the death of one employee and left four others injured.
Samsung's Hwaseong fab leaked 10 litres of hydrofluoric acid on Sunday, with five workers being called in later that day to undertake repair work. All five workers complained of pain, with one worker collapsing at the scene and later dying in hospital.
Police are investigating the leak, with officials from Samsung and subcontractor STI Service being questioned. The Yonhap News agency reports that police officers were told, "We were too busy handling the scene that we could not think of reporting to the authorities."
The police will investigate the initial gas leak and whether the workers carrying out repairs had access to proper safety equipment.
Samsung issued a statement in which the firm said it is conducting an internal investigation. Jun Dong-soo, president of Samsung Electronics' memory division said, "The firm promises to actively cooperate with the authorities regarding the incident to thoroughly investigate the cause so we can prepare measures to prevent it from happening again."
Samsung is expected to expand its chip fabrication plants, especially in China, in order to meet the demands of its own smartphones and tablets, as well as those of other chip design firms that are growing reliant on Samsung and its rival TSMC to fab their chip designs on leading edge process nodes. µ