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Chemical truck explosion kills 22 in north China

28 November 2018

A truck carrying combustible chemicals exploded in north China's Hebei Province early on the morning of 28 November, causing a series of blasts that wrecked nearby vehicles and killed 22 people, local authorities said. Another 22 were injured in the explosions in the city of Zhangjiakou, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Stock image
Stock image

The Ministry of Emergency Management sent a work team to the site to guide rescue work, while the local government is verifying the identities of the victims. The injured have been sent to local hospitals for treatment.

A preliminary investigation found that a truck carrying acetylene exploded when entering the Haipo'er New Energy Technology Co. near Hebei Shenghua Chemical Industry, a big chemical enterprise. The blast ignited 38 trucks and 12 cars nearby.

The blasts and fire also damaged a high-voltage power line, leading to a power outage at four communication base stations and several companies including Haipo'er New Energy Technology.
Rescue work and further investigation are underway.

According to Reuters, public anger over safety standards has grown in China over recent years after a series of major industrial accidents ranging from mining disasters to factory fires.

In August 2015, 165 people were killed in a chemical warehouse explosion in the port city of Tianjin. The government found that the disaster was causes by improperly or illegally stored hazardous materials.

China has vowed to improve industrial standards, but environmentalists say they fear oversight weaknesses persist, including an opaque production process for hazardous chemicals.

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