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Multiple dead in China gas factory blast

July 20, 2019

At least 12 people have died in a powerful explosion that ripped through a gas plant in central China. Reports said the force of the blast shattered windows and blew out doors as far as 3 kilometers away.

The Yima gas plant
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Imaginechina/The Beijing News

An explosion at a gas plant in China's central Henan province has killed at least 12 people and seriously injured 15 others, Chinese authorities said Saturday. 

The blast rocked the factory in the city of Yima on Friday evening, damaging buildings and blowing out windows and doors within a 3-kilometer (2-mile) radius, state media reported.

Read moreDeadly chemical plant explosion hits Zhangjiakou

The official Xinhua news agency said the explosion occurred in the state-owned Henan Coal Gas facility's air separation unit.

An ambulance outside the site of a factory blast in Yima
Pictures from the site showed plumes of smoke rising from the factory premisesImage: Imago Images/Xinhua/Feng Dapeng

All production at the site has stopped. Officials said an investigation was underway to determine the cause of the incident.

Deadly industrial accidents are fairly common in China. Safety regulations are often poorly enforced, despite recent orders from the government in Beijing to improve standards at factories and power plants.

In March, a major blast at a chemical plant in eastern Jiangsu province killed 78 people and injured hundreds. The explosion led to two dozen arrests and prompted a nationwide inspection of chemical companies. One of the country's worst workplace accidents occurred in 2015, when a massive explosion at a chemical warehouse in the northern port city of Tianjin killed 165 people.

nm/jlw (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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