Published: Sat, March 23, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Death toll in China chemical plant blast rises to 12

Death toll in China chemical plant blast rises to 12

The official China Central Television (CCTV) reported earlier in the day that an explosion took place at around 2:50 p.m. (6:50 GMT) local time at a chemical plant in the city of Yancheng, Jiangsu province.

Firefighters and rescue personnel are on the site, however, the reason behind the explosion is yet to be ascertained, said the local authorities. State media said authorities were investigating the cause of the blast. China's quake administration said that it registered tremors measuring a magnitude of 2.2 in the nearby city of Lianyungang. "Witnesses said many workers were seen running out of the factory covered in blood after the blast".

Paramilitary police officers and a medical staff transfer an injuried man as smoke rises from an explosion site behind them in Yancheng in China's eastern Jiangsu province on March 21, 2019.

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The blast was caused by a fire at the factory, which makes fertiliser, BBC reported. SCMP reports that production at other plants in the area was unaffected. A spokesman for the Lianyungang City fire brigade confirmed that a crew had been deployed to the scene but said "the exact situation is still unclear".

A video posted on state broadcaster CCTV's website shows huge plumes of smoke spewing from a factory building and spreading over the area.

Industrial accidents are common in China, where safety regulations are often poorly enforced. Earlier in November, 23 people were killed and 22 others were injured as a truck carrying combustible chemicals exploded at the entrance of a chemical factory in a northern Chinese city that will host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

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