Sunday, August 23, 2015

• China Shandong province: New Chinese Chemical Site Blast Kills 1 - VOA

VOA News - August 23, 2015 8:20 AM
An explosion in a chemical plant in eastern China has killed one person and injured nine other people.

The blast happened Saturday night at the Runxing Chemical factory in Zibo in Shandong province, according to state media. 

The fire on Saturday night was put out after about five hours and authorities said no contamination has been detected, Xinhua said.

But the disaster is bound to raise more questions about safety standards in a country where industrial accidents are all too common following three decades of fast economic growth. 

Windows shattered
Windows shattered in the village where the blast occurred, state media said, and tremors could be felt 2 kilometers (1 mile) away. About 150 firefighters and 20 fire engines were sent to the scene.

The explosion destroyed a factory belonging to Runxing Chemical, a subsidiary of the Runxing Group with 200 million yuan ($31 million) in registered capital, Xinhua reported.

The factory produced adiponitrile, a colourless liquid that releases poisonous gases when it reacts with fire, according to Xinhua.

The latest explosion happened less than two weeks after deadly blasts at a chemical storage facility rocked the port city of Tianjin, killing more than 120 people, including firefighters, and injuring hundreds more. 

FILE - A firefighter walks among damaged vehicles as 
smoke rises amidst shipping containers at the 
site of explosions, at Binhai new district in 
Tianjin, China, Aug. 14, 2015.

Chinese citizens have posted concerns on the Internet complaining about the proximity of chemical facilities to residential areas. 

Chinese officials have confirmed that sodium cyanide, a toxic chemical, was stored in the warehouses in Tianjin.

The Ministry of Public Security, China's police, said in a statement posted on its website that investigations into the Tianjin blasts were continuing and more time was needed before any conclusions could be reached.