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Chemical plant explosion in central China kills five, injures one

29 September 2020

An explosion at a chemical plant killed five workers and injured one other on September 28 in central China. The blast happened in the Yuekou Industrial Park in the city of Tianmen.

Image: Tianmen Chutian Fine Chemical Co
Image: Tianmen Chutian Fine Chemical Co

According to Hubei province’s emergency management department, the explosion happened at around 14:15 local time. Search and rescue efforts continued for several hours after the blast while the injured worker was transported to a local hospital.

The impacted plant is owned by Tianmen Chutian Fine Chemical Company which produces pharmaceutical intermediates for use in the manufacturing of drugs.

According to the South China Morning Post, the explosion happened while equipment at the chemical plant was being tested. Video footage posted on social media shows yellow smoke rising from the factory while paramedics carry a person on a stretcher to an ambulance.  

According to its website, the Tianmen Chutian Fine Chemical Co. developed from Xiantao Chutian Fine Chemical Plant founded in 1997. It is a pharmaceutical chemical enterprise engaged in research, manufacturing and selling of medical intermediate. In 2011, it moved into the Yuekou Industrial park.

Chemical plant incidents are not uncommon in China. In March 2019, 78 people were killed, and hundreds injured after the ignition of illegally stored chemicals at a plant owned by Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Company in Yancheng city. The incident sparked a widespread government crackdown on the unsafe storage and transportation of chemical’s across China.

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