A gas leak at a fertilizer factory in Yilan County killed two people and injured five yesterday. Ministry of Labor work safety inspectors have launched an investigation to determine the cause of the accident.
The accident occurred at about 11am when workers were overcome by poisonous gas at the Fei Hung Fertilizer Co in Dongshan Township (冬山).
The two workers who were killed were part of a cleaning crew that entered a storage tank that contained hydrogen sulfide. They were found unconscious by other staff who raised the alarm.
The two workers, surnamed Lin (林) and Yu (游), were pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Preliminary assessments showed that a ruptured pipe might have leaked hydrogen sulfide into the storage tank.
Plant manager Hsu Chiu-tien (許秋田) was among those injured.
When Lin and Yu lost consciousness, Hsu reportedly called on other staff to help pull the men out of the storage tank. They inhaled the toxic fumes, resulting in breathing difficulties. The five workers were recovering at a hospital and were expected to make a full recovery in a few days.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration officers went to the fertilizer factory to assess the situation and conduct an official investigation into the accident.