Blast at North China's Tianjin port leaves one dead, seven injured
Published: Jan 14, 2021 03:31 PM

Screenshot of the explosion site

A gas explosion in North China's Tianjin Municipality has left at least one dead and seven injured on Thursday.

The explosion took place at a factory workshop in Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone of Binhai New Area at around 12:50 pm.

Observers warned that the period before the Chinese New Year is usually a peak time for production safety accidents, as many companies try to speed up their production schedules. 

The emergency management bureau of Tianjin Binhai New Area and Tianjin Port bonded area sent fire rescue teams to the scene immediately. As of 3:30 pm, search and rescue efforts had ended, with no one trapped inside. The explosion left one dead. Seven injured people have been sent to the hospital, the Bureau of Emergency Management of Tianjin confirmed to the Global Times at 6 pm Thursday. 

The workshop belongs to Tianjin Jc Auto Parts Corporation. The cause of the incident is under further investigation, said the bureau official. 

The company received administrative penalties from the Bureau of Emergency Management of Tianjin in September 2020 due to production safety violations. The authority warned the company and imposed a penalty of 30,000 yuan ($4,640).

Tianjin Jc Auto Parts Corp could not be reached as of press time. 

In August 2015, the same area of Tianjin witnessed devastating explosions at a container storage station that killed 165 people and left hundreds injured, according to official reports. Of the 165 fatalities, 99 were firefighters.

The shutdown phase before the Chinese New Year and the resumption of production after the New Year holidays has been a key period for the prevention of production safety accidents, the bureau official said, as this period is usually more prone to production safety accidents.

One of the major reasons for this situation is that many companies try to speed up their production schedules before the Chinese New Year, observers noted. In order to avoid production safety accidents, the authorities have also made efforts in terms of legislation and supervision in recent years.

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