A chemical plant in Kaohsiung City's Cianjhen reportedly leaked 10 tons of benzene, a controlled toxin, on the morning of June 29. A worker with the last name Huang was sent to the hospital without vital signs. Two other workers were also sent to the hospital and regained consciousness there but were still experiencing dizziness, nausea and other symptoms. According to the investigation, the accident was caused by a chemical container that was filled beyond capacity and the benzene leaked when it was being moved.
Firefighters don hazmat suits before they enter the chemical plant. According to plant officials, an employee surnamed Huang was found unconsciousness next to a storage container at 6 a.m. There was a strong smell and no one to be seen. We later found the unconscious (worker) and immediately called for an ambulance. Huang was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead on arrival. The Kaohsiung City Environmental Protection Bureau determined the leaked gas was benzene, a controlled toxin that is flammable at room temperature. Benzene impairs the central nervous system. The factory was fined NT$1 million for failing to report the leak within half an hour. The leak occurred when the benzene storage container was being moved to another area. The worker (apparently) wasn't paying attention to what he was doing. We estimate around 10 tons of benzene leaked out. The accident killed one and injured two. The Labor Affairs Bureau has ordered a shutdown, but the plant will be monitored to ensure there are no further leaks. In the meantime, foam has been sprayed all over the plant to stop the gas from drifting. 消防隊員穿戴化學毒物特有的防護衣及面罩，全副武裝才敢進到化學工廠裏頭，根據廠方表示清晨六點時，發現黃姓員工暈倒在儲存槽旁，還聞到惡臭，才知道出狀況了。 化工廠長 黃慶和表示：「那時候發現，怎麼有濃度？然後就到現場去，看不到人。到現場去，看到怎麼暈倒？就立即通知救護車。」 黃姓員工送醫後仍然不治，而環保局也趕到現場偵測，因為外洩的有毒氣體是苯，是列管毒物，常溫下就有可能燃燒，對人體中樞神經有影響，廠方事發後沒有在半小時內通報，先開罰一百萬元。 高雄市環保局環境稽查科長 陳偉德表示：「將這個苯，要移槽到第二槽區的槽體的時候，因為員工作業時，沒有注意到，造成這個苯，滿槽之後溢出，目前現況，就是溢出量，粗估大概有10噸。」 這起工安意外造成一死兩傷，勞工局立刻勒令化工廠停工，而消防局在現場噴灑大量泡沫，抑制揮發，並持續現場監控，避免再有外洩情況，以防再有人吸入過量的苯受害。