Deadly explosion at Japanese silicon plant

Five people have died and 12 more hospitalised after a heat exchanger exploded at a silicon products plant owned by Japanese firm Mitsubishi Materials.

News reports suggest that the blast happened while a maintenance crew was working on the heat exchanger, and suspect it may have been caused by hydrogen gas, possibly generated by residue reacting with cleaning water.

The company is investigating the extent and cause of the incident. The factory, located in Yokkaichi, produces silicon materials for semiconductor wafers.

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