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Hyundai Oilbank takes full responsibility for medical bills of ‘stench’ incident victims

Hyundai Oilbank’s refinery (Hyundai Oilbank)
Hyundai Oilbank’s refinery (Hyundai Oilbank)

South Korean refiner Hyundai Oilbank apologized Thursday to the victims of “stench” incident at its refinery located in Seosan, South Chungcheong Province, promising full medical support for their recovery.

The company said it would pay the medical bills of local residents affected by the stench that originated from its refinery around 10:20 a.m. Wednesday, while the facility was burning remaining LPG inside the pipes to prepare for the upcoming regular turnaround.

“Hyundai Oilbank took local residents who were feeling nauseous or dizzy to Seosan Jungang General Hospital by a bus for diagnosis,” a company official said. “We will cover all medical expenses, though further compensations will have to be negotiated.”

The remaining LPG inside the pipes was supposed to be slowly burned away by a flare stack, a gas combustion system. However, the device experienced a sudden surge of LPG for about 40 minutes, which might have caused uncomfortable smell, the company said.

According to Seosan City government, 76 people were sent to the hospital as of 5 p.m. Wednesday. It hasn’t been confirmed whether children or pregnant women were included.

“None of the patients are in a critical condition,” a hospital official said.

By Kim Byung-wook (