The Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) and the IAEA on Sunday announced the death of two workers at the site of the quake-and-tsunami-hit Fukushima Daiichi atomic energy plant. Neither side spelt out the exact cause of the deaths.

In a regular update on the Fukushima situation, the IAEA said, without comment, Japan's “Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency reported that the two employees were found dead” in the turbine building of Unit 4 on March 30. The plant was devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Tepco chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata said in a statement: “We lost two young employees who were working to protect the safety of the Fukushima power station after the earthquake and the tsunami …. We will work to avoid a similar tragedy in the future.” In yet another statement, the company said the two workers, assigned an inspection task, had been “missing” since the March 11 quake and tsunami. Tepco had previously reported an “explosive sound” and consequential damage at Unit 4 on March 15.

Continuous leakage of radioactive substances from the entire Fukushima Daiichi complex has been confirmed by the Japanese authorities for over two weeks now. And efforts to plug one of the detected outlets — a 20-cm. crack in the concrete wall of pit at Unit 2 — continued on Sunday, with senior officials expressing concern and declining to set a timeline for ending the radiation crisis.

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