10 killed in China gas factory blast
Published: 12:34 20 July 2019 Updated: 12:54 20 July 2019
At least 10 people were killed and 19 others seriously injured in a gas plant explosion in central China, authorities said on Saturday.
Five more people are missing in the incident, the Sanmenxia city publicity department said in a social media post.
The accident took place on Friday evening in Yima in Henan province shattered windows 3 kilometres away, and knocked off doors inside buildings, Chinese state media reports said.
The injured were sent to the hospital, according to a government source at Sanmenxia city, which administers Yima.
The explosion did not involve tanks of dangerous materials, the local government said.
"The sound was extremely loud, with a ball of fire and clouds of smoke in the air," said a local citizen who was 500 meters away from the gas plant when the explosion occurred, quoted by the Beijing News.
"Customers who bought goods outside were scratched by broken glass," he said.
The factory was this month named the first provincial-level enterprise to put in place a double prevention system for safety production risks in Henan.
The Yima gas plant of Henan Gas Co Ltd was established in 1997, covering an area of 87 hectares, with more than 1,200 employees, according to a Southern Metropolitan Daily report.
An investigation into the cause of the accident is underway.
China experiences frequent industrial accidents despite orders from the central government to improve safety at factories, power plants and mines.
More than 60 people died in March in a chemical plant explosion in eastern Jiangsu province.
Among the worst accidents was a massive 2015 explosion at a chemical warehouse in the port city of Tianjin that killed 173 people, most of them firefighters and police officers. That blast was blamed on illegal construction and unsafe storage of volatile materials.
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