Mitsubishi Materials’ Japan Plant Explodes, Killing Five Employees

On January 6, a blast at a factory in Japan killed five people and injured many more. The plant, owned by Mitsubishi Materials, is located in Yokkaichi and has previously been cited for safety violations. The company is a well-known domestic supplier of semiconductor silicon.

According to a spokesperson for the factory, the explosion occurred during the early afternoon. At the time, maintenance workers were fixing a heat exchanger that assists with the manufacturing of silicon products for use in solar panels and vehicles. The cover of the heat exchanger was being removed for cleaning when the blast occurred.

The Mie prefectural police confirmed that, “Five people are dead. 12 people have been injured, of whom nine sustained only minor injuries.” Reports also concluded that the explosion thankfully did not spark a fire. The police noted, “We received an emergency call at 2:09 p.m…and at 2:21 p.m. the incident appeared to have calmed down.”

Daytime exterior of a Mitsubishi factory in Japan
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