Two workers at the tsunami-hit Fukushima Daiichi atomic energy plant in Japan were on Thursday rushed to hospital for treatment for exposure to radiation. One more worker was less seriously exposed to radiation.

Confirming the accident, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), responsible for crisis management at the plant, said the workers, belonging to “other companies”, were in charge of cable-laying work in the turbine building of the worst-hit reactor at the plant. They were engaged in trying to restart the cooling system by linking it to an external source of electricity.

Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) vowed to continue efforts to bring the quake-and-tsunami-hit complex under control. It said: “We are seeing some high radiation areas at the plant. We will keep working while sealing off or removing radioactive substances. This is an emergency mission. So, we have to work fast to solve our problems while looking after workers' safety.”

Earlier, the IAEA, quoting Japanese authorities, said “lights are working at the [worst-hit] unit's main control room”. A temporary evacuation of workers there was also announced following the detection of smoke from out of the reactor building. TEPCO said lights in the main control room of another reactor were restored.

Tokyo said local authorities were asked to monitor the levels of radioactive contamination in tap water. Following Wednesday's announcement that Tokyo tap water was unfit for infants, the city authorities reassured the public on Thursday by citing fresh data.

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