SOUTH KOREAN POLICE investigating a leak of hydrofluoric acid at a Samsung DRAM plant have cast doubt on claims made by the firm that the toxic gas did not leak outside the plant.
Samsung reported that a 10 litre leak of hydrofluoric acid at one of its plants last month led to the death of a worker and injured four others, but that no gas had leaked outside of the plant itself. Now South Korean police investigating the leak said that the acid was discharged from the plant to the surrounding areas.
Song Byung-sun of the Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency leading the investigation told local journalists, "Hydrofluoric acid has been leaked outside of the chip plant after an analysis of CCTV footage taken inside the Central Chemical Supply System (CCSS) of the chip plant." Song's statement completely contradicts Samsung's claim, which said there was no chance of any gas leaking outside.
Song's statement means that Samsung could have broken the Clean Air Conservation Act, and local police are checking whether this is indeed the case. Local police added that they are not ruling out the chance that residents within a two mile radius of the plant could have been affected by the release of hydrofluoric acid.
So far Samsung and its contractor STI Service have been fined about $1,000 for delaying their reporting of the incident. However those fines could go up if they are found to have released the poisonous gas outside of the plant, potentially affecting tens of thousands of people. µ