Explosion hits chemical warehouse in east China, no casualties
A massive explosion has occurred at a facility storing chemicals and fuel in eastern China, though no casualties have been reported.
The explosion happened at a facility in the town of Jingjiang in China’s eastern Jiangsu Province on Friday. The chemicals and fuel, which had reportedly been improperly stored, had caught fire before the blast took place.
The blast recalled huge explosions caused by improper storage of chemicals in the northern city of Tianjin last August, which killed at least 165 people and raised fears of toxic contamination.
The local government said that the fire was “under control,” and that there were no deaths or injuries. It said an operation involving some 400 firefighters was underway to put out the fire.
Witnesses said that a thick plume of fire and black smoke was rising into the sky and “many fire appliances were dispatched in an attempt to put out the fire.”
The city government said the facility is owned by a company called Jiangsu Deqiao Storage, which is authorized to store chemicals and fuel.
Such industrial accidents are not strange in China, where safety standards are often lax. A massive explosion hit a chemical warehouse in the country’s northeastern port city of Tianjin last year.
A government investigation into the explosion suggested in February that the blast was caused by improper chemical storage by a company called Tianjin Ruihai International Logistics.
The inquiry found that the company had evaded safety laws.
The earlier blast killed some 173 people, injured roughly 800 others, and caused over $1 billion in damages.