Chinese chemical plant explosion kills dozens
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 3/22/19, 11:13 am
A huge explosion at a chemical plant in eastern China on Thursday killed at least 47 people and injured more than 600 others in one of the country’s worst industrial accidents in recent years. More than 900 firefighters and other responders got control of the blaze early Friday at the plant owned by Tianjiayi Chemical in the city of Yancheng in Jiangsu province, north of Shanghai, state-run television reported. Images from the scene showed crushed cars and responders assisting factory workers with bloodied faces.
The explosion triggered a magnitude 2.2 seismic shock and a fire that extended to neighboring factories. Windows were blown out in buildings 4 miles away. Health workers in 16 hospitals attended to about 640 people with injuries, 90 of them serious.
On Friday, the city government ordered schools to remain closed and evacuated nearly 1,000 nearby residents in case of leaks and more explosions. Officials launched an investigation into the explosion’s cause, but Tianjiayi Chemical has a record of safety and environmental violations. In February 2018, the State Administration for Work Safety cited 13 different safety hazards at the company, which has incurred up to $267,000 in fines since 2016.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.