Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

China chemical plant blast kills at least 19

China chemical plant blast kills at least 19

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

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

No other details are immediately available.

The explosion left 19 dead and injured another 12, authorities said on July 13, the latest industrial accident in a country where lax regulations often lead to tragedy.

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.

The Southern Metropolis News reported that a mainland business registration database showed that Hengda had been established three years ago and was listed as a chemical product manufacturer and distributor.

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Reuters reports that the 12 persons injured in the explosion and fire at the Sichuan facility are in stable condition, and that an investigation into the incident has begun.

A trio of three-storey buildings were reduced to their steel frames by the explosion, the Sichuan Daily newspaper said, citing witness accounts.

China's breakneck pace of economic growth during the last decade has resulted in a spate of industrial accidents.

In 2015, an explosion in a chemical warehouse in the northern port city of Tianjin killed 165 people.

Last year, an explosion at a petrochemical plant in eastern Shandong province killed eight people and injured nine.

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