Fire breaks out again at Fukushima's No. 4 reactor

08:07, March 16, 2011      

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A fire broke out again early Wednesday at the troubled No. 4 reactor of the quake-hit Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

Around 5:45 a.m., new fire was discovered in northeastern corner of reactor 4 building, where an apparent hydrogen explosion caused a fire Tuesday morning following Friday's 9.0-magnitude quake.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. spokesman Hajimi Motujuku said the blaze erupted in the outer housing of the reactor's containment vessel. It was later confirmed that the fire was because the first blaze was not completely extinguished. Fire fighters are trying to put out the flames.

At the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, there have been explosions at two reactor buildings since Friday's disasters.

Radiation levels around the Fukushima plant had "risen considerably", Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Tuesday, and his chief spokesman announced it had reached the point where it endangered human health.

In Tokyo, 170 miles (270 kilometers) to the southwest, authorities reported radiation levels nine times normal.

The National Police Agency said Tuesday that Friday's catastrophic quake and the ensuing tsunami have left at least 3, 373 people dead and 6,746 others unaccounted for in Japan.

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