China probes factory blast as death toll rises to 47 | 2019-03-23 | daily-sun.com

China probes factory blast as death toll rises to 47

23 March, 2019 12:00 AM printer

YANCHENG: Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered local governments Friday to prevent any more industrial disasters after a chemical plant blast left 47 people dead, injured hundreds and flattened an industrial park in the latest such catastrophe to hit the country, reports AFP.

Thursday’s explosion in the eastern city of Yancheng, Jiangsu province was one of the worst industrial disasters to hit China, with Xi acknowledging that the country has seen a rash of major accidents in recent years.

Xi—who is on a state visit to Italy—urged “all-out efforts” to rescue those trapped and to identify the cause of the accident “as early as possible”, according to the official news agency Xinhua.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, has established a team to investigate the explosion, state media said. 

The explosion toppled several buildings in the industrial park and caused a huge fire that raged through the night, while rescuers scrambled to find survivors in the wreckage of the plant owned by a company with a chequered past.

The windows of homes a few kilometers (miles) away were shattered.

“We knew we’d be blown up one day,” said one 60-year-old woman surnamed Xiang who had harboured concerns about safety and pollution for a long time.

More than 600 people have received medical treatment following the blast, according to the city government.

Among them, at least 90 are seriously injured. Hundreds of rescuers have been dispatched to the scene, local authorities said, and some 4,000 people have been evacuated from the blast site. In a shopping street in Yancheng, a bus was converted into a blood donation centre, with about 20 to 30 people lined up.


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