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Probe launched into Japanese worker's death

AN international company based in Bahrain is being investigated for the death of a Japanese worker, who inhaled nitrogen gas.

A Labour Ministry inspection team has halted work by Japanese steel company - Kobe Steel Limited - and has issued a warning to improve safety measures.

The company was contracted to carry out maintenance for Direct Reduction Plant, which is part of Gulf Industrial Investment Company (GIIC) in Arad, when the chemical leaked from one of the machines on Friday.

Civil engineer Haruki Suzuki, 50, was alone and no one saw him when the incident took place.

"We received a call about the worker's death and immediately sent our team to the plant and launched an investigation," said a ministry spokesman.

"Work was halted and a warning was issued to the company to improve safety measures.

"The report will now be submitted to the Public Prosecution for further action."

A company spokesman confirmed the incident and said the body was repatriated on Monday.

"We were assigned to finish a project for GIIC, where we started the production of the project a few years ago, and Mr Suzuki was checking a machine and doing some maintenance job when the incident took place," he said.

"No one was there with him and we sent our team there when we got to know about his death.

"The body was transferred to Salmaniya Medical Complex morgue and police was informed.

"We believe he died after inhaling a lot of nitrogen and doctors confirmed it."

The spokesman confirmed work was halted at the plant, but said it was business as usual in other divisions.

"Work was temporarily halted at the plant and some parts are still closed," he added.

"But we are operating in some divisions."

GIIC officials were unavailable for comment when contacted by the GDN.

Mr Suzuki, from Nara city, came to Bahrain four years ago and is survived by a wife, two children and two grandchildren.

The funeral took place yesterday in his hometown.



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