On Monday, Reckitt Benckiser apologized to South Koreans after over 100 deaths
were linked to a toxic humidifier disinfectant product sold by the company.
, the Korean government discovered that the product, Oxy Ssak Ssak had a “significant association” with the deaths of four pregnant women due to mysterious lung diseases after using the product.
Reckitt Benckiser has been criticized before this for refusing to take responsibility over the casualties. Prosecutors also discovered that the company had deleted
hundreds of its customer’s complaints related to the deadly product after seizing the company’s computer server.
The press conference was broadcast live on TV in South Korea. It didn’t take long until the footage of an enraged family member of a deceased victim slapping Ataur Safdar, Head of Reckitt Benckiser South Korea division emerged online. Safdar appeared calm and tried apologizing to the deceased family members that were present despite the tension and the shouting in background.
Watch the tense moment here:
Prior to the slapping incident, a man stormed on stage screaming “it’s too late” accompanied by several protestors which included a boy who now depends on an oxygen tank to breathe.
After the incident, he politely requested that he was given the chance to finish his statement. In the statement on behalf of the company, he stated that this is the first time that they are accepting the fullest responsibility, and are offering a complete and full apology. He later added “We were late, five years have passed, (and) we are also apologizing far too late. This is what we are apologizing about.”
Safdar has vowed not to leave the Seoul office until the matter has been resolved. He added that the company has set up a fund of 10 billion won (RM 34,000,000) to compensate the victims and their families.
Reckitt Benckiser is well known for its household cleaning products such as Dettol, Harpic, and Vanish.