Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Blast at Chinese chemical plant kills 19

A view of Yibin China Feature China Barcroft Images Getty Images
Jeannette Daniel | 14 July, 2018, 12:17

The accident follows previous high-profile disasters at chemical plants in China.

An explosion at a chemical plant in southwest China left 19 dead and injured another 12, authorities said Friday, the latest industrial accident in a country where lax regulations often lead to tragedy.

Footage from state television channel CCTV showed heavy smoke rising from the factory, which was owned by the Hengda Science and Technology Company.

The blast occurred at 6.30 pm (1030 GMT) Thursday at an industrial park in Sichuan province's Yibin city, according to a statement on the website of the local work safety administration.

Xinhua cited the Jiang'an county government as saying the fire was put out on Friday morning and the injured were in stable condition.

More news: Pilot Smoking Mid-Air Forces Air China Flight's Emergency Descent

The Ministry of Emergency Management has sent a team to further investigate the cause of the explosion, the agency added.

The recent incident happened amid a drive to improve industrial safety started during the past year, following incidents at coal mines and chemical plants. The fire broke out in the early evening while there was still daylight, and it was under control by around 11:30 p.m. according to reports.

"I heard a big explosion, it was really loud and I felt the ground shaking", Liu Ping, a manager from the industrial park told China Newsweek, who was in his office at the time of the eruption.

Last year, an explosion at a petrochemical plant in eastern Shandong province killed eight people and injured nine.

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