Industry ministry inspects major energy facilities amid massive fire


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South Korea’s industry ministry said Friday it has carried out inspections of major energy and gas facilities amid the outbreak of a devastating fire that engulfed the northeastern region of the country.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy hosted a meeting with major bodies, including the Korea Electric Power Corp., the Korea Gas Corp. and the Korea Electrical Safety Corp. to discuss the fallout of the blaze.

The fire broke out in Goseong, 210 kilometers from Seoul, on Thursday, and spread to adjacent areas, including Sokcho. 

(Yonhap)

Minister Sung Yun-mo claimed that the organizations should mobilize all available resources to minimize the damage from the forest fire.

KEPCO said its investigation showed that the fire started from a power switch at a gas station. Sources earlier claimed that a transformer was behind the incident.

KEPCO said substances blown by the wind are likely to have caused a spark at the switch and that it could not have exploded without outside factors. Switches are managed by KEPCO.

Experts are currently carrying out an investigation to discover the details behind the inferno, the ministry added.

The gas corporation suspended the supply of gas to around 6,000 households in the region for safety reasons late Thursday. The supply was resumed earlier Friday, except for at liquefied petroleum gas charging stations.

The power supply to 166 households was shut off due to the fire last night, but the number has been reduced to around 50 at present, it added.

The nation’s telecom firms said they have dispatched staff to restore the communications facilities and cables in the fire-stricken region, keeping a close watch on its network infrastructure.

Top carrier SK Telecom Co. said some of its base stations and cables caught fire but that it had repaired most of the facilities by early Friday.

KT Corp. has dispatched 14 mobile base stations and 200 employees to deal with the disaster, and LG Uplus Corp. is also closely monitoring its communications facility to handle emergency situations, according to the companies. (Yonhap)


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