WATCH: Explosion at Chinese chemical factory shatters windows miles away
The explosion rocked the Chenjiagang Industrial Park in the city of Yancheng, in east China’s Jiangsu province, on Thursday afternoon. The resultant fire was not brought under control until 3am the following day.
The death toll has risen to 62 people and about 640 were injured in the catastrophe, according to state media. Survivors were transported to 16 different hospitals where 32 are believed to be in a critical condition, and 58 others severely injured.
The blaze from the explosion spread to neighboring factories and even to a kindergarten where some children were injured.
The blast smashed windows and caused structural damage in the village of Wangshang two kilometers (1.2 miles) away, with some residents reporting that they felt the effects up to 40km (24 miles) away.
“There was one loud bang followed by a long rumble,” one Wangshang local told Reuters.
“All the windows were smashed. I went to have a look. Near the site there was blood everywhere. People were crushed.”
The chemical plant produces more than 30 organic chemical compounds, some of which are highly flammable. More than 3,000 people in the surrounding area have been evacuated, with aerial footage from the scene showing a giant crater at the blast site.
The cause of the catastrophe is still being investigated, however the company that operates the plant, Tianjiayi Chemical Company, has been previously cited and fined several times for work safety violations, reports the China Daily.
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