• Kyodo


Two of the four workers killed in an accident at a nuclear reactor this week died of suffocation when scalding steam burned through their windpipes, police autopsies revealed Wednesday.

Fukui Prefectural Police conducted the autopsies on the bodies of Hiroya Takatori, 29, and Tomoki Iseki, 30.

They were among four workers who died Monday after a pipe in a turbine facility at the No. 3 reactor of Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Mihama nuclear plant ruptured. The workers had been preparing for a routine inspection of the reactor that was to have started Friday.

Investigative sources said the police plan to collect samples of the damaged pipe as early as next week so that experts can study how the water wore away the carbon steel.

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