Fukushima worker dies after falling into water storage tank

Staff at Japan's destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant died on Tuesday after falling within a water storage tank, the most recent inside a spate of business accidents at the site from the March 2011 nuclear disaster, the earth's worst since Chernobyl.

 

The death may be the second in Fukushima in less than a year. Last week, labor inspectors warned the operator of the plant, Tokyo Electrical energy Co., around the rise in accidents and ordered it take measures to handle the problem.

 

An unnamed laborer in their 50s working for construction company Hazama Ando Corp. on Monday fell right into a 10-metre-high (33 feet) water tank he previously been inspecting. The tank was empty at that time along with the worker died on Tuesday after being taken up an area hospital, said Tokyo Electric.

 

"We have been deeply sorry for your death from the worker and express our deepest condolences for the family. We promise to implement measures in order that such tragedy isn't going to occur again," Akira Ono, the manager of the Fukushima plant, said inside a statement. Hazama Ando had no immediate comment.

 

The amount of accidents in the Fukushima plant, including heatstrokes, has almost doubled this financial year to 55. The increase came as Tokyo Electric ramped up cleanup efforts and doubled the volume of workers to begin to just about 7,000.

 

In March, a worker with the Fukushima plant died after being buried under gravel while digging a ditch.

 

Tokyo Electric have been widely criticized because of its handling from the cleanup. Until last year it struggled to contain leaks of radioactive water from hastily built tanks once your there, possesses repeatedly promised to enhance working conditions.

 

Most workers from the plant are contract laborers hired by multiple layers of construction companies. A Reuters investigation in 2013 found widespread labor abuses, including workers who said their pay was skimmed understanding that there were little scrutiny of working conditions at the plant.

 

"The goal wasn't the amount of accidents that is happening more often. It's the serious cases, including deaths and heavy injuries which may have risen so we asked Tokyo Electric to raise your situation," said Katsuyoshi Ito, an area labor inspector overlooking the Fukushima power plant.

 

Ito said inspectors were investigating the recent death.

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