Huge explosion rips through gas factory in central China's Henan Province
An explosion at a gas plant in central China on Friday, 26 July 2019, has killed 15 with another 15 seriously injured. Three people who were previously missing have been found dead, local authorities said. About 270 fire fighters and rescuers have completed three rounds of search and rescue since the blast on Friday evening in the city of Yima in Henan province, China’s emergency management ministry said. The blast shattered windows 3km (1,9 miles) away and knocked off doors inside buildings, according to earlier state media reports. Xinhua said the explosion happened in the air separation unit at a factory owned by Henan Coal Gas Group. All production at the plant has been halted, it said.
“Many windows and doors within a 3km radius were shattered, and some interior doors were also blown out by the blast,” state broadcaster CCTV said on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media platform.
Local media showed amateur videos of a massive column of black smoke billowing from the factory and debris littering the roads. Other images showed the doors and windows of homes blown out and closed shops with dented metal fronts.
A bloodied man was seen being helped out of a van in a video posted on social media. The authenticity of the footage could not be immediately verified.
Deadly industrial accidents are common in China, where safety regulations are often poorly enforced. On March 21, a blast at a chemical plant in Yancheng, east China’s Jiangsu province killed 78 people and injured hundreds. The explosion on the industrial estate also toppled several buildings, blew out windows of nearby homes and dented metal garage doors.
Authorities detained two dozen people in connection with the blast, which prompted the government to order a nationwide inspection of chemical firms. A week later, seven people died following a blast at an electronics component manufacturer in the same province.
In November, 24 people were killed and 21 injured in a gas leak at a plant in the north Chinese city of Zhangjiakou, which will host the 2022 Winter Olympics. The explosion was caused by leaked chloroethylene coming into contact with a fire source, authorities said, adding that the firm responsible for the accident had concealed information and misled investigators.
In 2015, China suffered one of its worst industrial accidents when giant chemical blasts in the northern port city of Tianjin killed at least 165 people.
Source: South China Morning Post