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    Southeast Seoul declared 'disaster zone' after chemical leak
    South Korea declares industrial area in capital Southeast disaster stricken following massive leak of hazardous materials

    South Korea has declared an area southeast of Seoul as a "special disaster zone," following a massive toxic chemical spill in late September.


    The incident took lace on September 27, when about eight tons of hydrofluoric acid leaked from a Hube Globe facility in the North Gyeongsang Province, following a blast at the facility.


    Five people were killed and 18 others were injured in the incident.


    Some 3,000 people became ill after the incident, and many criticized the government for its slow response to the leak.


    "The government decided to designate the area affected by the leak of hydrofluoric acid as a special disaster zone,” a government statement read Tuesday.


    The leak affected nearly 80 businesses, some of which were forced to close down. Total damages were estimated at $15.9 million. The spill also damaged more than 500 acres of farmland.


    The government statement confirmed the leak "had caused considerable damage," but said it had no exact figures at this time.


    Under current South Korean law, a government-designated special disaster area is entitled to special financial aid from the central government to cover rehabilitation costs.




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