BEIJING: A chemical plant explosion in China has left at least five people dead and eight missing, reports AFP.
The blast happened on Sunday afternoon at a factory in northeastern Liaoning province's Panshan County, according to state broadcaster CCTV, which reported the fire at the facility was under control.
Videos and photos published earlier in the day by CCTV showed a cloud of thick smoke and flames rising from the factory, and a group of firefighters in helmets outside the plant.
CCTV said more than 330 firefighters had been dispatched to fight the blaze.
Industrial accidents are common in China due to lax safety standards and poor enforcement. In December, 18 people were trapped underground after a cave-in at a gold mine in northwest China's Xinjiang region.
The month before, 38 people were killed in a fire at a factory in the centre of the country. One of the worst such accidents took place in 2015 in Tianjin, where a gigantic explosion at a chemical warehouse killed at least 165 people.