Local officials reported that at least five people were killed and one person was injured in the blast in Tianmen, near Wuhan, near China. The explosion rocked an industrial park at 2:15 p.m. China time (5:15 a.m. KST) Monday. It follows another chemical factory explosion in August killing six workers in Hubei province.
In the aftermath of the blast, search and rescue efforts were scrambled to save residents buried under the rubble.
Footage from the Chinese video platform PearVideo showed the aftermath of the explosion, with an injured press being carried out of the wreckage on a stretcher.
It also showed thick yellow smoke billowing from the facility, which one local said could indicate a nitric acid leak.
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Authorities in Hubei have claimed that the facility produces pharmaceuticals that are used to make treatments and medicines.
The plant’s owner, Tianmen Chutian Fine Chemicals, was fined in April for illegally dumping sewage.
Chinese media claimed that the Tianmen factory received numerous complaints from residents.
Residents alerted authorities after reporting that the facility was releasing gases causing irritation.
In March of last year, Yancheng in East Jiangsu Province saw a massive explosion at another chemical plant.
The 2019 explosion killed 78 people and injured 617 people, as well as damage to 16 nearby factories.
Cao Lubao, mayor of Yancheng, announced that around 3,000 people had been evacuated from the area.
President Xi Jinping says no effort should be spared to rescue those trapped and treat the injured
China experienced its biggest explosion in 2015, when a factory in Tianjin hosted a huge explosion described as an “atomic bomb”.
A total of 173 people, at least 80 of whom were firefighters, were killed in the blast, which also injured around 800 others.
An official report released in 2016 accused the illegal storage of 11,300 tonnes of dangerous chemicals.
He concluded that the explosion occurred after a highly flammable chemical, nitro-cotton, was allowed to dry and self-ignite in his barrel, igniting other chemicals nearby. such as ammonium nitrate, which then led to a devastating chain reaction.