Fire at Lithium-Ion Plant Kills 23

The plant housed 35,000 Li-ion batteries.

June 25, 2024

1 Min Read
Li-ion battery facility fire claims 23 lives
Aricell produces LI-ion batteries for sensors and radio communication devices.Black_Kira/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

A lithium battery factory in South Korea was set on fire after multiple batteries exploded on Monday, killing 23 workers. Most of them Chinese nationals, fire officials said.

The fire and a series of explosions ripped through the Aricell battery factory in Hwaseong, a city south of Seoul, in South Korea, around 10:31 a.m. local time, officials said.

The fire produced thick smoke that spread quickly. Workers inside the second-floor location likely lost consciousness and succumbed to extremely toxic gas within seconds of the blaze getting out of control, the officials said.

Eighteen Chinese workers, two South Koreans, and one Laotian were among the dead. The nationality of the other deceased worker was yet to be confirmed, Kim Jin-young, an official at the Hwaseong fire service, told reporters, citing information from company officials.

The blaze was first reported at 10:31 a.m. local time after a series of battery cells exploded inside a warehouse of 35,000 batteries, Kim said.

The factory was a reinforced concrete three-story building on roughly 2,300 square meters, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

The fire was mostly under control by 3:10 p.m. local time and has now been put out.

Today, Aricell's CEO apologized on Tuesday, over a massive factory fire the day before, as firefighters found the body of the last missing worker, raising the death toll to 23.

“We apologize for the loss of many lives in the fire accident at the Aricell plant on June 24th," said CEO Park Soon-kwan.

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