5 dead, 8 missing after explosion at chemical factory in Liaoning
Explosion in NE China’s Liaoning kills 2, with 12 missing
Published: Jan 16, 2023 01:34 PM
 An onsite picture from CCTV.

An onsite picture of the explosion occurred at a chemical company in Panjin, Northeast China's Liaoning Province. Photo: CCTV News.

Five people have died and eight are still missing after an explosion occurred at a chemical company in Panjin, Northeast China's Liaoning Province on Sunday. Rescue teams have arrived at the scene of the accident and are searching for people who may be trapped, according to media reports.

The accident also caused more than 30 injuries. The fire is under control and the injured have been transferred to hospital, according to local media reports.

The Ministry of Emergency Management is continuing to guide the on-site rescue and treatment of those injured. Wang Xiangxi, minister of Emergency Management, immediately made arrangements and called for all-out efforts to rescue the missing and prevent secondary accidents.

A field command center was immediately established, with 105 firefighting vehicles, 441 firefighting personnel being deployed. There were 20 ambulance vehicles and 240 medical personnel and other staff were dispatched to the scene, reports noted.

Provincial Party chief Hao Peng and other officials organized emergency fire and rescue forces to rapidly attend to the incident. Officials stressed the importance of putting lives first, sparing no effort to carry out rescue and resolutely safeguarding the safety and health of the public, according to Liaoning fire authorities on Monday.

Local authorities should adhere to the principle of safety first and learn lessons from the accident, officials said.

At 1:27 pm on Sunday, the local fire response received a report of an explosion at the chemical company during routine maintenance work which had led to an out of control fire. As of 9:30 pm, a total of 79 fire engines and more than 330 fire and rescue personnel had been dispatched to the scene for rescue, authorities confirmed.

The direct cause of the accident was an explosion and fire during maintenance of the alkylation unit of the factory, and details of the accident are still being investigated, the cited authorities as saying.

According to the official website of Panjin Emergency Management Bureau, the Emergency Management Department of Liaoning Province carried out an inspection of the factory on October 10, 2022, and said it was necessary to further carry out an investigation into hidden dangers in production safety, strengthen inspection and maintenance operations, and supervise and inspect trial production enterprises to eliminate the risk of accidents.

From August 2021 to October 2021, the Panjin Municipal Bureau of Ecology and Environment issued four administrative penalty decisions for unauthorized construction of unexamined projects and illegal discharge of air pollutants by the factory involved, with the fines amounting to a total of more than 2.4 million yuan ($356,000).

Global Times