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Intel Fab 32 leaks gas leaving 11 workers needing hospital treatment

Part of plant under lockdown
Mon Jul 01 2013, 15:25
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CHIPMAKER Intel had a gas leak at its Fab 32 plant in Arizona with 11 workers being taken to hospital.

Intel operates a number of fabs in mainland America with operations in Arizona, New Mexico and Oregon pumping out silicon for a variety of products. The firm's Fab 32 plant in Arizona leaked gases at 6am on Saturday, 29 June that left 11 people needing hospital treatment.

According to a local report, 43 workers at Intel's plant were evaluated on site with 11 needing to be taken to hospital. Those on the scene said workers complained of difficulty breathing or irritation of the skin and eyes, with the Associated Press reporting that the gas vented was nitrogen.

The Arizona Republic reported a suspected O-ring failure when the gas was being piped out of the factory. Intel wouldn't say what gas leaked but said it was used in chip production.

A spokesperson for Intel told the local newspaper that production at the plant was not affected and that work that was occurring in the vicinity of the leak has been moved to a different part of the plant. The firm has isolated the area of the leak from other parts of the plant, with the spokesperson saying it was under lockdown.

Chip fabrication makes extensive use of gases that can cause serious injury. A hydrofluoric gas leak at a Samsung factory earlier this year left one worker dead and South Korean police investigating the chip maker.

Intel did not have any further comment at the time of publication. µ


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