MITO, Japan (Kyodo) — Two men were found dead Friday evening after four workers went unaccounted for in a fire that broke in the morning in a cracking furnace at an ethylene plant of Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. in Kamisu, Ibaraki Prefecture, the company and local firefighters said.
The firefighters spotted and confirmed the two deaths after they entered in the evening the site burned by the fire. The fire started around 11:30 a.m., emitting black smoke before subsiding one hour later, they said.
The four are employees of an affiliate of Mitsubishi Chemical, they said. No injuries have been reported so far.
According to the company, no irregularities were found at the No. 2 ethylene plant of the Kashima factory during periodical checks from May through July this year.
The cracking furnace is used to refine naphtha and propylene.
The factory is located in the Kashima coastal industrial zone in southeastern Ibaraki Prefecture and has a workforce of around 1,120. The factory started operating in November 1992.