Flammable material being used to insulate the basement of a warehouse under construction at a semiconductor plant is being blamed for explosions Wednesday afternoon that may have killed nearly 80 people in South Korea.
The official death toll stands at 38 people as of Thursday but many more remain unaccounted for following the blasts, the South Korean Ministry of Public Safety and Security reports.
Based on the speed with which flames spread authorities suspect that the disaster at the SK Hynix factory in Icheon is linked to combustible urethane used as insulation to protect machinery during the installation of a forklift elevator.
Flames rapidly overran the construction workers as they attempted to escape, local media report. Ten people were injured during the blaze.
The fire took nearly five hours to extinguish.