Thursday, August 22, 2019

China's recent industrial disasters

Mar 21. 2019
Firemen and Chinese paramilitary police officers search at an explosion site in Yancheng in China's eastern Jiangsu province on March 21, 2019. // AFP PHOTO
Firemen and Chinese paramilitary police officers search at an explosion site in Yancheng in China's eastern Jiangsu province on March 21, 2019. // AFP PHOTO
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By Agence France-Presse
Beijing, China

3,899 Viewed

The deadly explosion that tore through a chemical plant in eastern China on Thursday was the latest in a string of industrial accidents in the country.

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. // AFP PHOTO

At least six people were killed and dozens more injured in the blast that shook an industrial park in the city of Yancheng, Jiangsu province.

    Here are some of the worst accidents to hit China in recent years:

    

    - Zhangjiakou gas leak -

    In November, a gas leak at a plant in the northern Chinese city of Zhangjiakou -- among the host locations for the 2022 Winter Olympics -- killed 24 people and injured 21 others.

    Leaked chloroethylene came in contact with a fire source causing the explosion, authorities said in a February report that revealed the Chinese chemical firm responsible for the accident had concealed information and misled investigators.

    Authorities pointed to the company's lack of safety measures and "chaotic" management for contributing to the blast.

    

    - Sichuan chemical plant -

    Last July, a blast at a chemical plant in southwest Sichuan province left 19 dead and 12 injured. The company had undertaken illegal construction that had not passed safety checks, according to local authorities.

    Photos of the plant showed what appeared to be the burned-out shell of a building surrounded by rubble. 

    

Fire and smoke rise from the site of an explosion in Yancheng in China's eastern Jiangsu province on March 21, 2019. // AFP PHOTO

    - Beijing lab explosion -

    Three students were killed in a laboratory blast at a Beijing university in December in an accident that blew out windows and left the building a blackened shell.

    A scientific research experiment on wastewater treatment in the university's environmental engineering laboratory had caused the explosion.

    

    - Tianjin blast -

    In 2015, giant chemical blasts at a container storage facility killed at least 165 people in the northern port city of Tianjin.

    The explosions caused more than $1 billion in damage and sparked widespread anger at a perceived lack of transparency over the accident's causes and its environmental impact.

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