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22 killed As Fire Engulfs Lithium Battery Plant In South Korea

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Seoul: A tragic fire engulfed a lithium battery plant in South Korea on Monday, claiming the lives of at least 22 individuals and leaving eight others injured, as reported by Al Jazeera.

Initially, authorities had confirmed 16 fatalities and three injuries, but later discovered an additional six bodies at the factory located in Hwaseong, approximately 45 kilometers (28 miles) south of Seoul. Among those who perished were eighteen Chinese laborers and one worker from Laos.

Citing information from corporate officials, fire official Kim Jin-young stated that the nationality of the remaining deceased worker was not yet determined. About 10:30 a.m. (01:30 GMT), the South Korean battery manufacturer Aricell’s plant caught fire. It was put out just after 3 p.m. (06:00 GMT), according to police, reported Al Jazeera.

South Korea is a major exporter of lithium batteries and is home to major companies in the sector, including SK On, LG Energy Solution, and Samsung SDI. Yoon Suk-yeol, the president of South Korea, has directed authorities to mobilize all staff and equipment “to focus on searching for and rescuing people,” according to his office.

Due to the smoke from the fire, Hwaseong authorities issued a number of advisories asking the public to stay inside and close their windows. Thermal run, a phenomenon that can happen when lithium batteries overheat or are pierced, has been known to cause explosions or fires in devices such as electric cars, laptops, and phones.

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