China chemical plant blast kills 19, injures 12

14 Juillet, 2018, 04:17 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • The burned out Yibin Hengda facility

The recent incident happened amid a drive to improve industrial safety started during the previous year, following incidents at coal mines and chemical plants.

An explosion at a chemical plant in south-west China left 19 dead and another 12 injured, authorities said Friday.

The authorities in Jiang'an county said the blast happened at Yibin Hengda Technology in an industrial park.

The company that owns the building where the fire occurred is a chemical manufacturer named Hengda, according to the official Xinhua news service. The fire, which broke out early on Thursday evening, was put out by 11:30 p.m. (1530 GMT), the government said in its statement.

According to local media reports, the three-storey buildings of the factory burnt down to their steel frames, while the windows of the nearby buildings were also shattered. Footage on its website on Friday afternoon showed the skeleton of the burnt-out buildings.

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The plant has three production lines, making 300 tonnes per year (tpy) of benzoic acid, which is used in food preservatives, and 2,000 tpy of 5-nitroisophthalic acid, for medicines and dyes, the regional environmental protection bureau says.

The note notable example in recent years being the 2015 blast that rocked the city of Tianjin, and resulted in the deaths of 165 people in the area near the port storage facility.

An explosion at a chemical plant in China kills 19 people.

This photo taken on July 12, 2018 shows firefighters working to put out a fire after an explosion at a chemical plant in Yibin in China's southwestern Sichuan province.

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