Nineteen dead, 12 injured after industrial park blast guts building in China

Pauline Gross
July 15, 2018

At least 19 people died and 12 were injured after an explosion at a chemical plant in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan, officials said.

A fire, which broke out early on Thursday evening due to the explosion, was put out by 11:30pm local time (3:30pm GMT), the government said in a statement. The 12 injured people are reportedly in a stable condition. Photos show a huge fire and plumes of smoke rising from the facility.

"I heard seven explosions in ten minutes", an eyewitness told domestic news agency Beijing News. The company did not immediately answer telephone calls from Reuters to seek information.

Yibin Hangda Technology supplies chemicals to food and pharmaceutical manufacturers, Reuters said, producing 300 tn/yr of benzoic acid and 2000 tn/yr of 5-nitroisophthalic acid at the plant in Yibin.

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The country has introduced measures to improve industrial safety over the a year ago, following incidents at coal mines and chemical plants.

In 2015, a blast in a chemical warehouse in the northern port city of Tianjin left 165 people dead and multiple injured.

The accident follows previous high-profile disasters at chemical plants in China. An investigation there found that corruption, political connections and official collusion allowed corners to be cut and safety systems to be overridden.

Other reports by GizPress

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