|Kwao Peppeh |||Oct 21, 2015 10:58 AM EDT|
(Photo : REUTERS/Stringer ) Firefighters try to extinguish a fire at a petrochemical plant in Zhangzhou, Fujian province in April. A new chemical explosion has occurred in Shandong province on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2015.
In the latest chemical plant explosion to rock China, two people sustained injuries while nine others, who were initially reported missing, have been confirmed dead, following a blast in Shandong province on Wednesday morning.
The explosion, which occurred at 8.20 a.m. at a chemical plant, razed about 401 workshops belonging to Tianbao Chemical Industry Co.
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The company manufactures explosives for local commercial use, particularly in the mining sector.
According to Xinhua, authorities have not announced the cause of the blast as investigations are ongoing. It is not clear if the company, which was founded in 1958, violated any rules in storing dangerous chemicals leading to the blast.
Rescue officials who initially rushed to the scene of the blast announced that nine people were missing. However, at 5:30 p.m., search and rescue officials confirmed that the nine people were dead.
The nine casualties were workers at the chemical workshop. They included a 26-year-old woman and eight men reportedly aged between 24 and 41. Although the names of the deceased have not been released, officials confirmed their identities through DNA tests.
The two people, who sustained injuries in the blast, have since been transported to the hospital. One of the victims is reportedly in critical condition.
The incident is the latest in a series of explosions in China in the past three months. On August 22, about 173 people lost their lives after a massive chemical explosion at a warehouse in the port of Tianjin. Many of the causalities recorded were firefighters struggling to contain the huge flame.
Investigators later revealed that the fatal blast involved about 700 tons of sodium cyanide, a high toxic chemical.
Shortly after that incident, another blast occurred at a chemical plant in the eastern province of Shandong. The blast at a chemical plant belonging to Diao Kou Xiang Bin Yuan Chemical Co. has raised questions about safety regulations in China's industries.
Last week, another blast at a chemical plant occurred in Tianjin, no causalities were recorded however. The latest blast has reinforced questions about the effects China's economic breakthrough on the industrial sector.
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