Blast Rocks Aluminum Factory In Kitakyushu, No Injuries Reported

Blast rocks aluminum factory in Kitakyushu, no injuries reportedAn explosion occurred at an aluminum factory here early on Sept. 1, with no reports of injuries to six workers who were inside the facility, it has been learned.
The blast rocked the No. 1 plant of Shinkou Alumer Inc., an aluminizing processor in Kitakyushu's Wakamatsu Ward, at around 6:20 a.m. on Sept. 1. The explosion ripped open the facility's roofs and outer walls, causing damage to a total of some 400 square meters, and also broke the glass window of a nearby plant.

While six workers were inside the aluminum factory at the time of the accident, none of them were reportedly injured. The two-storied plant, whose total floor space is some 1,800 square meters, operated around the clock.

According to the Wakamatsu Police Station and the city's fire department, phreatic explosions occurred after the factory's melting furnace was damaged and aluminum that spilled from the furnace reacted with water running along water passages across the floor.

Fire department officials said the phreatic explosions occurred twice, sending out white smoke and loud noises in the vicinity.

"I heard the sounds of blasts time and again and saw glass windows shaking. I had no idea what was going to happen after firefighters urged us to prepare for evacuation. I'm relieved there was no serious damage," said a resident in her 70s who lives nearby.

The plant is located in a factory belt facing Dokai Bay. No fire broke out, and authorities did not issue an evacuation order to residents.