Issue Date: January 7, 2008
Four Die In Mitsubishi Fire
A Dec. 21 fire at Mitsubishi Chemical's Kashima, Japan, complex killed four workers and knocked out 500,000 metric tons of Japan's ethylene capacity. The country's total capacity for the basic chemical is about 7 million metric tons. The fire occurred in the cracking furnace of the company's No. 2 ethylene unit and was extinguished within 12 hours. Causes are unclear but Japanese investigators may lay criminal negligence charges against Mitsubishi, the Japan Times reported. In a statement, Mitsubishi said that it could not predict the impact of the accident on its operations in Kashima or on its financial performance.
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