Explosion and Fire at Iwakuni-Ohtake Works (#5)

May 2, 2012
Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.

On April 22 (2:15am), a tragic explosion and fire occurred at Mitsui Chemicals' Iwakuni-Ohtake Works claiming the life of one employee and injuring persons from the local community and Works employees.

Mitsui Chemicals extends heartfelt sympathy to the family of the deceased and sincerest apologies to all persons injured in the accident, residents suffering damages to homes and property, persons of the local community, persons working at nearby companies, the authorities, our customers, and all stakeholders.

Information update: (May 2, 9:00): (changes are in bold print)
The Company will issue updates as information becomes available.

1. Address and facilities involved in accident:

Please refer to April 23 news release.

2. Casualties/injured:

1 dead, 21 injured (details as follows)

Community residents10 injured
JX Nippon Oil & Energy
(adjacent refinery)
cooperating company employees
2 injured
Mitsui Chemicals employees1 dead, 7 injured (2 seriously)
Cooperating company employees2 injured

3. Damage to buildings/homes:

Community buildings/homes484 (increase of 2 from April 26 13:00 report)

4. Other effects on community:

There is no report of leakage of hazardous substances or materials at this time.
Premises warehouses store catalyst waste which includes radioactive material. This material is stored in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Storage facilities are over 500 meters from the affected area and there has been no report of changes in either containers or radiation measurements as compared with those prior to the accident.

5. Response to community damage:

From April 22, approximately 300 Mitsui Chemicals employees visited the 8382 families living in the area adjacent to the Iwakuni-Ohtake Works to apologize on behalf of the Company and confirm damages.

The Company continues to lend out plastic sheet coverings, arrange accommodations, and undertake repair work to damaged property. The Company will continue to respond to needs of persons affected by this accident.

6. Damage to plants/facilities:

Damage to all 29 plants is as follows:

a. Substantial damage 2 plants Iwakuni area: RS, CY
b. Damage to exterior slate, glass, etc. (details unknown) 15 plants Iwakuni area: MPCR, HQ, 3GT, 1PET, 2PET, LC, 2LC, TPX, HM, 2HM, WAX, NWAX, PR, AFR, boilers
c. Damage to exterior slate, glass, etc. with no damage to installations 1 plant Ohtake area: MIP
d. No damage 11 plants Ohtake area: 1PZ, 2PZ, MC, BK, AL, Pellicles, MDP, OTY, 1MO, 2MO, H

For explanation of abbreviations, please refer to the attachment.

7. Effect on operations:

Of all 29 plants, 3 plants are in operation. (Ohtake area: 1MO, MIP, Pellicles)
Operations at the Pellicles plant in the Ohtake area have been resumed.
Operations at all other 26 plants continue to be suspended.

8. Effect on product supply:

Including products from plants which are in or have resumed operations, effects on product supplies are unknown at this point in time.

9. Causes and measures:

The authorities are currently conducting an official investigation as to the causes of the accident. In addition, the Company formed an [Accident Investigation Committee] comprised solely of members of the academia and external specialists to investigate causes of the accident and develop measures to prevent future recurrences. The Committee held its first meeting on May 1. The Company will fully cooperate with the Accident Investigation Committee and investigating authorities.

[Appendix] List of abbreviations

*Iwakuni:Yamaguchi Prefecture Ohtake:Hiroshima Prefecture

Products Usage Plant Location Plant Name
Resorcinol adhesive agent for wood and tire Iwakuni RS
(By-product of resorcinol)
solvent、methyl isobutyl ketone raw material Iwakuni
Cymene solvent、meta/para-cresol raw material Iwakuni CY
Meta/Para-cresol vanish for wire enamel, laminate for PCB Iwakuni MPCR
Hydroquinone polymerization retardant, anti-degradation agent for rubber Iwakuni HQ
Purified terephthalic acid polyester fiber, polyester film, PET resin Iwakuni 3GT
PET Resin
PET bottle raw material Iwakuni 1PET
(hydrocarbon-basedsynthetic oil)
additives for lubricants Iwakuni LC
mold releasing film、plastic wrap Iwakuni TPX
(ultrahigh molecularweight polyethylene)
battery separators, high-strength fiber Iwakuni HM
pigment dispersant、processing aid Iwakuni WAX
FTR™ hot-melt adhesives, tackifiers Iwakuni PR
(Plant fire extinguishing material) - Iwakuni AFR
(Plant utility) - Iwakuni boiler
Catalyst catalyst Ohtake 1PZ
(methyl isobutyl ketone)
solvent of paints, ink Ohtake BK
(modified polyamide 6T)
electronic/ electric parts, automotive parts Ohtake AL
Mitsui MP (pellicles) dust proof membrane applied on photomask during lithography process Ohtake pellicles
Milason packaging material Ohtake MDP
packaging films, golf ball covering Ohtake
Gas pipes gas pipes Ohtake MIP
(Tank yard) - Ohtake OTY
(Plant utility) - Ohtake 1MO


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