Nanjing lab blast kills 2, hurts 9, triggering renewed safety concerns over research institutes
Published: Oct 24, 2021 09:27 PM


Two people died and nine were injured in a lab explosion at the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics on Sunday afternoon, local authorities revealed late Sunday.

The accident happened around 4 pm at the College of Material Science and Technology at the university in Jiangsu Province, East China. An investigation into the incident is underway, the university said on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

The rescue work at the accident site has finished, Nanjing fire control authority said on Weibo.  

It is not the only explosion to have happened in Chinese research institutes this year. 

On March 31, a graduate student was killed in a laboratory blast at the Institute of Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.

On September 29, the intermediate people's court in Shanghai issued its final judgment on a student, who was injured in a lab explosion in a Shanghai university.  Donghua University was ordered to pay 1.62 million ($250,000) to a student injured in the explosion in September 2016. The explosion occurred in a laboratory of the school of chemistry, chemical engineering and bioengineering, seriously injuring two students and another who sustained slight injuries. 

"Hope colleges can conduct safety investigation in the labs to prevent any tragedy like this," a Weibo user posted on Sunday. 

Chinese chemists have been calling for improvements to lab safety at research institutions following previous incidents, which reflect systematic negligence of safety. 

Chinese national authorities previously ordered corrections in the production, sale, transportation and storage of dangerous chemicals, with comprehensive safety inspections at every stage following an explosion at a laboratory of environmental engineering at Beijing Jiaotong University on December 26, 2018, which killed three students. Twelve officials from the university were punished. 

In December 2015, a lab blast killed one postdoc researcher at Tsinghua University. 

Global Times