Fire Closes Part of Samsung Heavy Industries Shipyard
On Wednesday, a fire broke out at Samsung Heavy Industries' main Geoje shipyard, the scene of a fatal crane accident earlier this month.
According to Korean media, the fire broke out in air conditioning or cooling equipment midmorning on Wednesday. A cloud of black smoke could be seen extending above Samsung's giant gantry crane. The fire was extinguished within half an hour and no injuries were reported; the cause of the fire is under investigation.
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In response to the latest incident, Korean authorities ordered the shipbuilder to partially close the yard in the area surrounding the fire, the second time it has been forced to suspend operations this month.
On May 1, a falling crane jib injured over 20 workers and killed five. A sixth worker later died of his wounds. The tragic accident occurred when a tower crane at Geoje collided with a gantry crane and collapsed onto a break area, which was a gathering place for up to 100 employees at a time.
After the crane collapse, the yard suspended operations until authorities gave permission to reopen. Police officials also raided Samsung's offices to gather evidence about its safety policies and regulatory complance. "We will analyze the material we gathered through the raid and strictly investigate the possibility of negligence on the part of Samsung Heavy and other officials," a police spokesperson told Yonhap.
The previous yard closure affected the delivery timeline for several offshore platform topsides units, including a new production facility for Total.