Cause of Jilin chemical plant blasts found
By Wu Yong and He Na (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-15 06:13
JILIN: A blockage in a chemical plant's processing tower and a worker's
botched attempt to clear it caused the explosions in Northeast China's Jilin
Province on Sunday, according to the top official from China National Petroleum
The channel of one nitration tower of the benzene production branch got
blocked at noon. A worker then bungled an attempt to unblock it.
The company gave no further explanation, according to Zou Haifeng,
vice-general manager of Jilin Petrochemical Company of CNPC.
Smoke billows out
after a series of blasts hit a chemical factory in Jilin City, Northeast
China's Jilin Province Sunday November 13,
All channels and equipment connecting to the plant have been shut down to
ensure security, Zou added.
To date, five persons were confirmed dead, and one was missing. Nearly 70
people were wounded. Among the wounded, two were in serious condition and 21
with minor injuries are still in hospital.
A nurse from Jilin central hospital who declined to give her name told China
Daily that all the wounded were sent to the nearest hospitals beside the plant.
The local government ordered all medical staff in Jilin to be fully prepared in
case of emergency.
The Jilin Petrochemical Company of CNPC is China's first large scale chemical
industry base as well as the largest national aniline base.
Benzene, a colourless cancer-causing liquid, has strong toxicity before
burning. But right after burning, benzene is harmless to humans since it breaks
down into carbon dioxide and water.
An injured worker
receives treatment at a local hospital after a series of blasts hit a
chemical factory in Jilin City, Northeast China's Jilin Province Sunday
November 13, 2005. [Xinhua]
No toxic gas was detected in the affected district, according to Zou.
Local residents and students of two colleges near the chemical plant have
returned to their residences after an emergency evacuation conducted shortly
after the explosions.
An official from Jilin Chemical Industry College, one of the two colleges
affected in the accident, said classes resumed yesterday afternoon.
The blasts took place at about 1:45 pm on Sunday at a workshop in the No 101
Chemical Plant of the CNPC Jilin Petrochemical Company.
A team, led by Wang Yilin, deputy general manager of CNPC Co Ltd who is in
charge of work safety, rushed to Jilin to offer guidance in the rescue
(China Daily 11/15/2005 page2)