Just over $900 seems like a small fine for the death of a contractor within Samsung's semiconductor facility.
Korea's Yonhap News Agency reports that Samsung will only be fined one million Won (roughly $923 USD) for allegedly delaying the report of a gas leak that took place on Sunday through early Monday. This fine will be applied to both Samsung and its subcontractor STI Service for violating a law that states that chemical leaks must be "promptly" reported.
"We are investigating in four different ways to determine the exact amount of leaked gas, the secondary damage, how the incident was handled by the firms afterward, and the relevant law," an official said. It will take up to two weeks to figure everything out, the official added, and that "someone died due to poor administration."
What actually happened at Samsung's Hwaseong semiconductor facility, located just south of Seoul, is unknown due to conflicting reports stemming from Korea. But Yonhap News stated that up to 10 liters of diluted hydrofluoric acid leaked from one of the pipes around 1:20 pm on Sunday. A five-member maintenance crew from STI Service was called in to begin repair work later on at 11:00pm.
Samsung reportedly didn't inform the proper authorities about the leak until more than a full day after the one of the contractors died (identified as "Park") in the hospital due to overexposure to the poisonous gas. He was reportedly not wearing a full hazmat suit, whereas the other four who were later discharged from the hospital were wearing their full protective gear.
"A small amount of diluted hydrofluoric acid leaked early Monday morning during maintenance at one of the gas and chemical supply systems at the Hwaseong site," Samsung officially stated. The situation was contained and production was not affected, the company added.
Initial footage pulled from closed-circuit television revealed Park entering the gas-filled room without protective clothing save for a gas mask. Family members have raised doubts over claims that Park wasn't wearing protective clothing, and the results of the autopsy won't be ready for another one or two weeks.