Dozens dead, hundreds injured in huge explosion at Chinese chemical plant (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
The blast occurred on Thursday afternoon and was captured on CCTV footage. It was so powerful that it demolished several factory buildings and blew windows out a few kilometers away. Images from the scene showed massive plumes of black smoke, with some clips showing an enormous fireball rising over the location.
As firefighters rushed to extinguish the inferno, rescuers dashed to help the injured and those trapped under the rubble. Others undertook an evacuation of more than 3,000 people from the explosion site. The blaze engulfed three chemical tanks and five other areas and was so intense that firefighters only managed to put out the fire on Friday morning.
中国江苏盐城化工厂爆炸危及范围方圆几十公里 pic.twitter.com/6UrNcGexQw— 流浪汉 (@gS4ADL8e70O2r5r) March 21, 2019
盐城化工厂生产农药大爆炸 pic.twitter.com/exRnzmWdvm— 红心出墙 (@phoebemi2015) March 21, 2019
At least 47 people died in the tragedy, the city government said on its Weibo account, noting that 90 out of the 600 people injured remain in serious condition. Authorities are now investigating the cause of the blast and, according to reports, have detained a number of people for questioning.
The province suffered a devastating chemical plant explosion in late 2017, which killed 10 people. The biotech company involved was later fined five million yuan ($730,000) and had its permit revoked after an equipment failure was found to have caused the blast. Thirteen people were prosecuted over the explosion.
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