OT Japan Nuke Accident Claims Second Victim

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Japan Nuke Accident Claims 2d Victim

TOKYO (AP) -- A worker exposed to excessive radiation in Japan's worst nuclear accident died Thursday morning, officials said.

Masato Shinohara, 40, was the second plant worker to die since the accident on Sept. 30 at a uranium-processing facility in Tokaimura, 70 miles, northeast of Tokyo.

NHK television reported that he died after a weakening of his condition, which was compounded by pneumonia and weakened kidneys.

Shinohara had been at the University of Tokyo Hospital since April 10 after being transferred from another medical facility. He had been on a respirator since February.

Hisashi Ouchi, 35, died of multiple organ failure on Dec. 21 after having been exposed to a massive amount of radiation. He was the first person in Japan to die as a result of a nuclear accident.

A third worker, Yutaka Yokokawa, was also hospitalized for exposure to a lesser amount of radiation, but was discharged in December.

The accident was triggered when the three workers used too much uranium to make fuel and set off an uncontrolled atomic reaction.

A total of 439 people including nearby residents are believed to have been exposed to radiation in the accident.

-- viewer (justp@ssing.by), April 26, 2000

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