Despite orders to keep working in a last effort to avoid a meltdown, many workers fled the Fukushima Daiichi power plant during the 2011 earthquake in 2011, according to the New York Times.
The Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported that the previously undisclosed record of the accident reveals employees abandoned the plant after being ordered to stay. On March 15, four days after the plant was hit by a tsunami, workers fled as they feared the No. 2 reactor could melt through the containment vessel, releasing massive radioactive materials into the environment, the report said.
Masao Yoshida, the manager of the Fukushima plant at the time of the incident, said 650 workers and midlevel managers fled to a nuclear plant six miles away and left him and 68 employees to try and regain control, according to Time.
TEPCO previously said it evacuated all personnel except a small team who tried to contain the crisis.
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