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2 hurt in chemical plant blast

By Zhu Lixin in Hefei | China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-10 08:07

An explosion at a chemical plant on Wednesday night in Tongling city, Anhui province, left at least two people injured.

Local authorities said a 100-cubic-meter liquid fuel container exploded at Tongling Hengxing Chemical Ltd's plant at about 10:45 pm, with two of its employees "injured by broken glass after the explosion".

Photos and videos taken by local residents and published on social media show the sky being lit up for nearly 10 seconds.

Fu Ling, a local resident from a nearby community, said, "The windows shook furiously, as if the apartment was about to collapse."

More than 100 firefighters attended the scene and had put the fire out by 11:30 pm, according to the local fire brigade.

An investigation into the cause of the explosion is said to be underway.

Public information shows the private plant produces isophorone and other chemical materials. The city government said in a statement on Thursday morning that the firm had recently suspended production.

Though no people were reported dead in the explosion, the incident is still a cause for concern, as the plant is only 4 kilometers from the city's crowded downtown area and is situated even closer to several residential communities and schools.

Several other chemical plants are situated nearby, two of which reported explosions in 2005 and 2012. The 2012 blast occurred at a State-owned plant, killing two people.

The city government said in an official document released last month that it will speed up the moving of local chemical firms away from densely populated areas.

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