A massive explosion rips through a Chinese chemical plant near Wuhan, killing six people
- The explosion happened last night in a silicone factory in Hubei province
- State media images show plumes of black smoke blowing into the air
- Another four people were injured, but their condition was stable, officials said
- The local government has closed the company and launched an investigation
Six people died in an explosion yesterday, officials said, which turned a chemical factory near the city of Wuhan in central China on its head.
Images released by state media show thick plumes of black smoke blowing into the air from the factory in Hubei Province after the explosion occurred in the evening.
Four other people were injured in an ongoing investigation, authorities said.
Images released by state media show thick plumes of black smoke blowing into the air and locals gather outside the factory in Hubei after the explosion happened at night
The incident took place around 5:30 PM at the Lanhua Silicone Company factory in Xiantao
The incident took place around 5:30 PM at Lanhua Silicone Company’s factory in Xiliuhe city of Xiantao, according to a government report.
The city of Xiantao, with a population of 1.5 million, is located 109 kilometers (68 miles) southwest of the provincial capital, Wuhan.
The explosion occurred in a workshop that stores butanone oxime, which can be used as a silicone curing agent, the Xiantao Party Committee’s Propaganda Branch said in the social media statement.
Images released by the state broadcaster CCTV shows the locals who gather around the factory when smoke flooded the complex.
Some local residents saw that their windows had been smashed by the blast Hubei radio and television station.
The blast killed six and injured four. Some local residents saw their windows smashed by the force of the explosion (right), Hubei Radio and Television Station reported
The city’s government dispatched 14 fire trucks and more than 100 rescue workers – including firefighters, paramedics, and environmental officials – to search for survivors.
Of the six deaths, one was declared dead in the hospital after CPR failed, while the other five were reported missing.
Three out of four injured were still hospitalized at 7:00 today, the post said.
Officials have instructed the company to stop production immediately. They also demanded a city-wide investigation from relevant companies to eliminate potential hazards.
The statement said that “relevant” authorities were conducting a “thorough” investigation of the explosion.
Accidents at work are common in China, where safety regulations are often poorly enforced.
In March last year, 78 people were killed and hundreds injured in an explosion at a chemical plant in eastern Jiangsu Province.
Four months later, in July, a massive explosion killed 15 people at a gas factory in central China.
In November 2018, a truck carrying flammable chemicals exploded at the entrance to a chemical plant in Zhangjiakou, a city in northern China where the 2022 Winter Olympics are taking place, killing 23 people and injuring 22 others.
One of the worst accidents was a massive explosion in 2015 in a chemical warehouse in the port city of Tianjin, killing 173 people, most of them firefighters and police officers. That explosion was attributed to illegal construction and unsafe storage of volatile materials.