15 Mar '11, 1am

Japan scrambles after third blast at nuclear plant

SENDAI, Japan: A huge explosion rocked a Japanese nuclear plant Tuesday, the third since a devastating quake-tsunami catastrophe that has left engineers struggling to control overheating reactors. As well as the atomic emergency, Japan is struggling to cope with the enormity of the damage from the record-breaking quake and the tsunami which raced across vast tracts of its northeast, destroying all before it. The official death toll has risen to 2,414, police said Tuesday, but officials say at least 10,000 are likely to have perished. Japan's nuclear safety agency said the operator of the stricken Fukushima No.1 power plant on the eastern coast believed the seal around the reactor, which is critical for preventing a major radiation leak, had not been holed. But the top government spokesman said there appeared to be damage to the structure around the number-two reactor, the ...

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