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(LEAD) S-Oil CEO apologizes over Ulsan refinery explosion

Industry 11:45 May 20, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES story with S-Oil CEO's remarks from press conference, other details; ADDS photo)
By Kim Seung-yeon

ULSAN/SEOUL, May 20 (Yonhap) -- The head of S-Oil Corp. apologized Friday over the explosion at the company's refinery unit in the country's southwest that left one person killed and nine others injured, vowing all-out efforts in handle the aftermath.

Hussain A. Al-Qahtani, CEO of S-Oil, made the remarks hours after the blast occurred at its alkylation processing line in Ulsan, about 415 kilometers southwest of Seoul. One subcontractor died, and nine others sustained injuries, mostly severe or minor burns.

"I would like to express my deepest condolences and apologies to the deceased who lost his life from an incident in S-OIL Onsan Refinery and to his family," Al-Qahtani said in a press conference in Ulsan.

"My apologies also go out to the injured workers and local residents close to the refinery to whom we've caused discomfort," he said.

S-Oil officials bow their heads in apology over the explosion at its refinery in Ulsan, about 415 kilometers southwest of Seoul, that left one person killed and nine others injured, during a press conference in the same city on May 20, 2022. (Yonhap)

S-Oil feels the heavy responsibility for the accident and will fully cooperate with related authorities in handling the case and finding the root cause, Al-Qahtani said.

The accident happened at around 8:50 p.m. Thursday during the start-up process after maintenance work. One of the compressors during the start-up is believed to have caused the fire, according to firefighters and the company.

The plant will be shut down until the cause is identified, and preventive measures have been put in place, S-Oil said.

The company, meanwhile, will explore ways to make sure the accident does not lead to any disruptions in the domestic supply of fuel products, by making full use of inventory and its domestic and overseas networks, it added.

As of early Friday, firefighters had still been working to put out the fire. A total of 26 people were working at the site, including 14 S-Oil employees, at the time.

Firefighters work to put out a fire at a refinery run by S-Oil Corp. on May 20, 2022, following an explosion that killed one and injured nine others. (Yonhap)

elly@yna.co.kr
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