Chain Reaction of Blasts Kills 23 in China

Chemical Reaction of Blasts Kills 23 in China

A series of blasts during the delivery of a flammable gas at a chemical manufacturer in northern China has killed 23 people and injured at least 22.

A video of the scene broadcast by state media on Wednesday showed billowing black smoke and flames, while photographs depicted rows of burnt-out cars and trucks.

An explosion during a delivery of acetylene set off a chain reaction among trucks parked along a road, leaving 50 vehicles damaged, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing Zhangjiakou’s fire fighting department.

The local government announced the casualty toll in a social media posting.

The acetylene was being delivered to the Haipoer New Energy Technology Company in the city, in the northern province of Hebei, Xinhua reported.

All fires at the blast site had been extinguished, state media reported.

Production at the nearby Hebei Shenghua Chemical Industry Co was operating normally, Xinhua reported.

Zhangjiakou, about 156 km northwest of Beijing, is set to host the 2022 Winter Olympics along with the capital.

Public anger over safety standards has grown in China after three decades of swift economic growth has been marred by accidents ranging from mining disasters to factory fires.

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In August 2015, 165 people were killed in a chemical warehouse explosion in the port city of Tianjin. The government found that the disaster was causes by improperly or illegally stored hazardous materials.

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