NEWS

Fumes kill three in oil refinery

Three members of a cleaning party working at an oil refinery near Corinth died early yesterday after inhaling deadly fumes in a reactor, prompting labor unions and left-wing parties to accuse employers of failing to take adequate safety precautions. The deaths came two days after a couple of workers were critically burnt and another three severely injured in an accident at the Megalopolis Public Power Corporation electricity plant in the southern Peloponnese. According to the management of the Motor Oil refinery at Aghioi Theodori, about 80 kilometers southwest of Athens, Constantinos Sofos, 34, Mario Perletsi, 27, and their overseer, Georgios Ioannou, 55, died after inhaling poisonous hydrogen sylphide fumes. They had not been wearing masks, he said, adding that the three worked for Mekasol, a firm contracted to change the catalyst in the reactor. The General Confederation of Greek Labor said the accident proved «the arbitrary behavior and lack of accountability of employers, and the total lack of safety measures.» The Communist Party spoke of a «crime against the working class.»