China chemical plant blast kills 19, injures 12

Industrial park blast kills at least 19 in China

Industrial park blast kills at least 19 in China

China has sought to improve safety standards in its chemical manufacturing and heavy industries after a spate of industrial accidents over the years.

A powerful explosion at a chemical plant in China's Sichuan province has killed at least 19 people, besides leaving 12 others injured, officials confirmed on Friday.

The cause of Thursday's blast at the Yibin Hengda Technology in an industrial park several hours southeast of Chengdu, the capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan, is not yet known, local officials said on Friday.

The injured are in stable condition and an investigation has begun, state news agency Xinhua said.

Photographs on Chinese social media showed a huge fire and plumes of smoke rising from the facility.

Rescue workers try to put out a fire after an explosion at a chemical plant inside an industrial park in Yibin, Sichuan province, China July 12, 2018.

Photos of the accident's aftermath on a local news site showed what appeared to be the burned out shell of a building surrounded by rubble.

A septic tank explosion last November destroyed a wide swathe of a light industrial area in Ningbo, just south of Shanghai.

The explosions caused more than US$1 billion (£761 million) in damage and sparked widespread anger at a perceived lack of transparency over the accident's causes and its environmental impact. Tianjin's mayor at the time of the accident was sentenced to 12 years in prison for graft.