People walk behind a glass window bearing the logo of Samsung Electronics at the company's headquarters in Seoul. A toxic chemical leak at one of the company's chipmaking plants left one worker dead on Monday.

Seoul - A toxic chemical leak at a Samsung Electronics chipmaking plant in South Korea left one worker dead and four injured, the company said on Tuesday.

The five repair workers were called in on Sunday night to stop the leak of diluted hydrofluoric acid at the plant in the city of Hwaseong, 43km south-west of Seoul, a Samsung spokesperson told reporters.

One was taken to hospital on Monday with pains in his throat and chest, but died hours later. The remaining four were also treated in hospital but released, the spokesperson said.

The leak involved about three litres of acid and was contained early on Monday morning, the spokesperson said.

The acid is an acute poison that can damage lungs and bones and affect the nervous system, as well as burn the skin.

“The situation has been contained and Samsung will be investigating the circumstances of this unfortunate incident,” the company said in a statement, offering its “deepest condolences” to the dead man's family.

Samsung is the world's top maker of smartphones, memory chips and flat-panel televisions. - Sapa-AFP