China / Society

Over 350 firefighters battle Wenzhou factory blaze

By SHI YINGYING in Shanghai ( Updated: 2013-01-03 20:32

More than 350 firefighters were sent to battle a factory blaze in the eastern city of Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, on Jan 3 to prevent the building from exploding.

The Wenzhou Hongdeli Synthetic Leather Co Ltd plant caught fire around 7:30 am. The blaze soon spread across 3,800 square meters of workshop, fueled by flammable materials, including chemical leather and heat transfer oil.

No casualties were reported.

Seventeen fire squadrons were sent to the scene. "We sent so many squadrons because there were six chemical storage tanks in the plant, and they could have exploded," said Yu Genling, an official from Wenzhou Fire Station.

Yu said the fire was brought under control around 11:40 am. A dozen firefighters remained at the scene on Thursday afternoon.

“Not many workers had arrived at 7:30 am when the fire took place — it was too early,” said Wang Yunwei, who works in security at the factory. He said more than 10 workers attempted to put out the fire themselves but failed because it was spreading too fast.

An investigation into the blaze is under way.

On Jan 1, three firefighters, including a 22-year-old Shanghai native, died after they became trapped while battling a factory blaze in the eastern city of Hangzhou.

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