Officials said combustible dust is being considered as the cause of an explosion Wednesday at a coal power plant in Pocheon, South Korea that left one person dead and four others with injuries, local English-language news organizations reported.
Workers were using a conveyor belt to transport coal from the basement of the GS E&R plant in Pocheon to its furnace when the machinery exploded at about 8:50 a.m. A 45-year-old man at the site was fatally injured during the indecent, the Korea Herald reported, and four other injured workers were transported to an area hospital for treatment.
Police told Yonhap News that the incident is believed to be a dust explosion, but noted that investigators are still working to determine the cause. Fire Department officials noted that a spark may have ignited the explosion.
“It looks like the spark-proof switch on the machine malfunctioned while the workers were conducting maintenance operations on the conveyor belt’s speed sensor,” Park Yong-ho, chief of the Pocheon Fire Station, said in a report by Korea JoongAng Daily.
The newly-constructed GS E&R plant in Pocheon recently carried out test operations ahead of the facility’s full start up, according toYonhap.