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Japan: Possible human remains found in a steel tank

Japan: Possible human remains found in a steel tank

Japanese police announced Thursday that possible human remains were found in a vessel intended for molten metal at a steel plant in Japan, hours after an employee disappeared.

Police spokesman Eijiro Kawano told AFP that a report had been filed on Tuesday about a 30-year-old man at the Nippon Steel plant in Oita, western Japan.

“While searching with factory workers, we discovered what appeared to be human bone fragments inside a container,” Kawano said.

“We don't know if these are really human bones and if they belong to the missing 30-year-old worker,” he added.

“But if these are human bones, we can imagine that the worker fell into the tank,” he added.

“I hope the DNA tests will help us find out,” Kawano said, adding that police are investigating whether there are any witnesses who may have seen the scene.

Kawano said the 4-meter-deep pot, which is believed to contain molten metal heated to more than 1,000 degrees Celsius, was about 5 meters below where the man was working.

A Nippon Steel spokesman told AFP: “We are still investigating the details.”

He added: “We continue to cooperate fully with the authorities.”

The company recently made a bid to take over US Steel for $14 billion, which US President Joe Biden opposed before the presidential election in November.

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