Company head nabbed by police as fire causes explosion at chemical plant

By GT staff reporters Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/21 23:33:00

An explosion struck a chemical plant in Lianyungang, East China's Jiangsu Province on Tuesday night, as casualties remain unknown.

Lianyungang Hongxing Grinding Materials Co caught fire around 9 pm Tuesday, and the police have brought the person responsible for the company under control, the local government of Ganyu district in Lianyungang said. Preliminary investigations show there were no casualties at the scene and the fire has been basically extinguished, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Earlier on the same day, local police announced the establishment of a leading group to ensure production safety, according to the statement on the local government's website.

A local resident named Lin Tianqing, who lives about 12 kilometers from the explosion site, told the Global Times that she heard the first blast at about 9 pm.

"I was walking on the road with my mother at that time. We heard a blast like an earthquake and saw fire in the southwest," she said.

 Lin said she heard more explosions in the following 10-20 minutes.

An employee from Lianyungang's Ganyu district where the reported explosion occurred told that the incident was a fire with no casualties so far, and that rescue work is ongoing. 

Preliminary investigations showed that a silicon carbide plant caught fire while the area affected was not very large, the government employee said.

There have been no reported casualties so far, and firefighters are close to extinguishing the blaze.

In another incident not far from the Tuesday blast, a huge explosion happened on March 21, 2019 following a fire that broke out at a plant owned by Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Co., Ltd. at a chemical industrial park in Xiangshui county in Yancheng, about 100 kilometers from Lianyungang. 

The explosion killed 78 people and injured more than 600.

It was identified as an extremely severe production safety accident caused by the prolonged storage of hazardous chemical waste, according to the State Council investigation group.

On December 9, 2017, another explosion struck a biotechnology company in Lianyungang, resulting in 10 deaths and one injury, with property damage worth 48.75 million yuan.

The total explosive energy released in the accident was equivalent to 14.15 tons of TNT.

Global Times

Posted in: SOCIETY

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