Investigators look around the nitrogen gas leak accident site at LG Display's panel manufacturing factory in Paju, Gyeonggo Province, Monday. The company said two maintenance workers died and four were injured in the accident. / Yonhap
By Yoon Sung-won
A nitrogen gas leak at LG Display's panel manufacturing factory in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, left two dead and four injured, the company said Monday.
Those killed were Lee Dae-gyu, 32, and Moon Woong-jo, 33, the company confirmed. Moon died while receiving emergency medical treatment at a nearby hospital.
Among the four injured, Oh Young-jin, 30, was in critical condition Monday at Ilsan Dongguk University Medical Center, the company said.
The other three had relatively minor injuries and were being treated at nearby hospitals, the company said.
LG Display said the victims were employees of a company subcontractor. They were conducting a maintenance check on the facility equipment on the ninth floor of the factory when the accident occurred around 12:50 p.m., it said.
The company released a statement three hours after the deadly accident.
"This is a terrible tragedy that the accident at the P8 factory left several casualties. The victims were exposed to a nitrogen gas leak during regular maintenance work at the eighth-generation line process facility. We are working to uncover the exact sequence of events," the company said.
"We will, to the best of our ability, help the victims recover from injuries and cooperate with authorities to reveal the cause of the accident. We also promise to work to prevent the recurrence of such an accident in the future."
The company said it has reported to fire and police authorities after the accident and sent an in-house safety management team to evacuate the injured.
Authorities ― including the police and fire departments and the Korea Gas Safety Corp. ― dispatched 18 firefighters and emergency equipment to the accident site and were conducting rescue and disaster prevention operations.
LG Display's panel factory in Paju is 308,000 square meters in area and has the world's largest manufacturing lines that mainly produce liquid crystal display panels for large-screen televisions and organic light emitting display panels.
Nitrogen is used to wash the display panels during the manufacturing pr ocess. Though nitrogen itself is not a toxic material, a nitrogen leak in an enclosed room drops oxygen density and thus creates a deadly environment for people.