Hydrogen Explosion at Stricken Japanese Nuke Plant; 3 Injured 7 Missing

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

TOKYO (AP) - Japan's chief cabinet secretary says a hydrogen explosion has occurred at Unit 3 of Japan's stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. The blast was similar to an earlier one at a different unit of the facility.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. says three workers have been injured and seven are missing after an explosion at the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.

Yukio Edano says people within a 12-mile (20-kilometer) radius were ordered inside following Monday's. AP journalists felt the explosion 30 miles (50 kilometers) away.

Edano says the reactor's inner containment vessel holding nuclear rods is intact, allaying some fears of the risk to the environment and public.

The No. 3 Unit reactor had been under emergency watch for a possible explosion as pressure built up there following a hydrogen blast Saturday in the facility's Unit 1.

More than 180,000 people have evacuated the area.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

TOKYO (AP) - Japanese officials say they believe a hydrogen explosion has occurred at Japan's stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, similar to an earlier one at a different unit in the facility.

A massive column of smoke was seen belching from the plant's No. 3 unit Monday. The reactor had been under emergency watch for a possible explosion as pressure built up there following a hydrogen blast Saturday in the facility's Unit 1.

Officials have been racing stave off multiple reactor meltdowns after a devastating quake and tsunami incapacitated the Fukushima plant.

More than 180,000 people have evacuated the area, and up to 160 may have been exposed to radiation.


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