At least 78 killed in China chemical blast

Death toll from pesticide plant explosion rises to 78, over 500 people still hospitalized.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Damaged buildings at the site of the  Tianjiayi Chemical plant explosion
Damaged buildings at the site of the Tianjiayi Chemical plant explosion
Reuters

The death toll from an explosion in a pesticide plant in Yancheng in China's eastern Jiangsu province rose on Monday to 78.

Fifty-six of the victims have been identified.

According to local authorities, over 500 additional people are still hospitalized. Thirteen are in critical condition, and 66 are in serious condition.

Last week's explosion, which registered as an earthquake, is considered to be one of China's worst industrial accidents. According to the South China Morning Post, the chemical plant was destroyed and 16 neighboring factories sustained damage.

Yancheng's municipality reported that 89 homes had been demolished after being damaged beyond repair.

They added that the city's drinking water had not been affected by the incident and that pollution indicators were "within normal range." However, testing by the local environment department revealed that the rivers flowing through the compound were contaminated with both dichloroethane and dichloromethane, and that one of the rivers contained higher levels of toxic ammoniacal nitrogen than permitted.

The rivers have been dammed to prevent the polluted water from spreading.

The Tianjiayi Chemical plant focused on producing raw chemicals, including anisole. According to the South China Morning Post, the company has received six government penalties for breaches in waste management and air pollution since its founding in 2007.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the accident, and an unspecified number of people were taken into custody on Friday.




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