Explosion in Busan Public Bath Building Injures 23 People
Yesterday, a shocking incident unfolded in Busan as an explosion ripped through a public bath building, leaving 23 individuals injured, including 10 brave firefighters. What made matters worse was the unexpected “secondary explosion” that caused severe damage and further casualties.
Joint Identification Points to Underground Oil Tank as Key Culprit
Today, a joint identification was conducted at the site by fire authorities and related agencies, shedding light on the root cause of the devastating incident. Preliminary findings indicate that a secondary blast occurred due to the spread of oil vapor from an underground oil tank. This unforeseen chain of events has left authorities grappling with critical questions surrounding the ignition source and factors contributing to the secondary explosion.
Reporter Cho Min-hee provides us with the latest details.
Chronology of the Terrifying Events
Initial reports confirm that the first explosion rocked the four-story bath house building. Shockingly, barely twenty minutes later, a second, even more powerful explosion struck, hurling people in its wake. The magnitude of this tragic incident called for an immediate on-site investigation to determine the cause of the fire accident and subsequent explosions.
Focusing on the Underground Oil Storage Tank
All eyes turned towards the oil storage tank located in the basement as investigators sought to ascertain the direct link between the vapor explosion and this crucial component. However, due to the presence of residual oil vapor coupled with water inundation resulting from damaged pipes, the identification process faced significant delays of approximately three hours. Eventually, authorities decided to schedule an additional identification test for the upcoming Monday to ensure a thorough examination.
Kim Tae-woo, Director of the Fire Research Laboratory at the National Fire Service Institute, shares his insight, stating, “(During the second identification), once the water on the floor is removed and all vapors are released, we anticipate that relevant organizations will be able to conduct a more precise evaluation to identify the cause and pattern of the fire.”
Safety Oversights and Past Inspections
As the investigation deepens, attention has turned to the building’s history. The structure, erected 33 years ago, did not adhere to the Installation of Fire Facilities Act, which mandates the incorporation of automatic fire detection equipment. Moreover, an oil tank inspection conducted in April last year failed to uncover any anomalies, according to previous reports by fire authorities. It has also come to light that lax access control at the accident site further compounded the tragic consequences.
One eyewitness, whose voice has been altered to protect their identity, shares their harrowing account, recounting, “At the time of the explosion, I closed the valve, thinking the firefighting efforts were over, but then there was a second explosion. This occurred even before the firefighters could bring the situation under control.”
Fire authorities suggest that the secondary explosion may have been triggered during the desperate struggle to contain the initial blaze while deciding on the most appropriate course of action to manage the site.
This is MBC News, reporting live from Busan. – Cho Min-hee
Video Comment: Hyunjin Park (Busan)
◀ Anchor ▶
Yesterday an explosion in a public bath building in Busan injured a total of 23 people, including 10 firefighters.
The reason why so many people were injured was because of the unexpected “secondary explosion”.
A joint identification was carried out at the site today, and fire authorities estimate that a secondary explosion occurred as oil vapor from an underground oil tank spread.
Reporter Cho Min-hee reports.
◀ Report ▶
The first explosion occurred in a 4 story bath house building.
Then, 20 minutes later, there was a second, larger explosion, and the impact threw people around.
On the site today, an identification was carried out together with related agencies to find out the cause of the fire accident and explosion.
Focus was on the oil storage tank in the basement.
This is because it is assumed that the oil vapor from here is the direct cause of the explosion.
″What was the ignition source that could have caused the vapor explosion and what caused the secondary explosion (we are going to investigate.)″
However, there was still oil vapor left in the basement and it was filled with water, so it could not be properly identified.
The identification was delayed for approximately 3 hours as water continued to enter due to the damage to the basement pipe caused by the fire.
Accordingly, the fire authorities decided to carry out an additional identification test next Monday.
″(During the second identification), the water on the floor will be removed and all the vapors will be released, so I believe that those who are evaluated by all relevant organizations will be able to identify’ n more precise (identify the cause of the fire or the pattern of the fire.)″
As a result of the comment, the building was an old building built 33 years ago and was not subject to the Installation of Fire Facilities Act, which requires automatic fire detection equipment.
In particular, an on-site inspection of the oil tank was carried out in April last year, but the fire authorities concluded that there was nothing unusual at the time.
At the time of the second explosion, it was also confirmed that access control at the accident site was lax.
″The first (at the time of the explosion) I closed the valve saying the firefighting was over, but there was a second explosion. At that time, it was before the firefighters even got it under control.”
Fire authorities believe that a secondary explosion occurred while first containing a large fire and trying to decide whether or not to control the site.
This is MBC News Cho Min-hee.
Video comment: Hyunjin Park (Busan)
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