Two employees at Formosa Petrochemical Corp’s naphtha cracker complex in Yunlin County’s Mailiao Township (麥寮) yesterday suffered minor burns after a hydrogen leak at the second oil refinery caused a fire.
According to the company’s Mailiao administration department, the fire broke out at about 2:10pm after hydrogen and steam started leaking from the flanges of a flow meter in the plant’s No. 2 residue desulfurizer (RDS) unit.
The fire was extinguished by about 2:30pm, but the company is still trying to determine what caused the leakage.
The two staff members, surnamed Tien (田) and Liao (廖), rushed to examine the unit shortly after they detected the leak, but both suffered minor burns when they attempted to fix the problem, the company said.
The company added that the pair were rushed to Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Mailiao Branch for treatment and returned to the plant at 3:10pm.
Yunlin County Government’s Environmental Protection Bureau Director Yeh Te-hui (葉德惠) said the bureau would discipline the company for the accident in accordance with the Air Pollution Control Act (空氣污染防制法).
“In the meantime, we are to analyze trace evidence collected from the scene to ascertain whether toxic chemicals or hazardous gas also leaked from the unit,” Yeh said.
“If so, then the bureau might fine the company based on the Toxic Chemical Substances Control Act (毒性化學物質管理法) instead,” Yeh said.
According to the county government, there were eight fires at the naphtha cracker complex between July 2010 and September 2011.