Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

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

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

Nineteen people have been killed in an explosion at a chemical plant in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan, local authorities said.

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

The blast occurred at 6:30pm Thursday at an industrial park in Sichuan province's Yibin city, according to a statement on the website of the local work safety administration.

Video footage of the accident in Jiang'an district shows a massive fire ripping though the building and sending plumes of thick black smoke into the air.

"I heard seven explosions in ten minutes", an eyewitness told domestic news agency Beijing News.

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Yibin Hengda is a company incorporated under the Synfarm chemical group.

The building was owned by chemical manufacturer Hengda, which was "conducting illegal construction at the plant which had not passed safety and fire control checks", the official Xinhua news agency said late Friday, citing local authorities.

Windows of nearby buildings were shattered by the explosion at the factory, which is surrounded by a sand and gravel plant, it added.

It comes amid a drive to strengthen industrial safety, with China ramping up checks over the previous year, in the wake of some high-profile incidents at coal mines and chemical plants.

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.

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