Chinese chemical plant blast kills 16, forces mass evacuation
An explosion Tuesday morning at a chemical plant in south China has killed sixteen and forced 11, 500 people to evacuate, Xinhua reports. No word yet on whether the accident contaminated local water sources.
The death toll from an explosion at a chemical plant in south China has reached 16 after rescuers found five more bodies on Tuesday evening.
Six others are still listed as missing and 57 were injured in the blast which happened at about 6 a.m. on Tuesday.
Fourteen of the dead were identified as workers at the plant, while the other two were yet to be identified, according to the rescue headquarters.
The blaze at the plant in Yizhou City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, had been put out on Tuesday evening, but smoke was still rising at the site.
The explosions persisted until almost 1 p.m. The fire spread over 10,000 sq m, said a firefighter who participated in the rescue operation.
About 11,500 people, living within 3 km of the plant, owned by Guangxi Guangwei Chemical Co., were evacuated from their homes.
Environment experts went to the area along the Longjiang River, which abuts the plant, to monitor the water quality for contamination.
More than 100 chemical emergency specialists were dispatched to the site to assess the safety situation.