Another chemical explosion in China, this one at Zibo in Shandong Province. It’s a very trying time for China.
I copied and pasted this article from the NY Times. Visit the source for a map.
One Killed in Explosion at China Chemical Site
By DAN LEVIN AUG. 22, 2015
BEIJING — A fatal explosion at a chemical factory in eastern China on Saturday night has jangled nerves a little more than a week after a series of blasts killed more than 120 people at a chemical storage facility about 200 miles away, Chinese news media reported.
The explosion on Saturday, which tore through a chemical plant in Zibo, in Shandong Province, killed one person and injured at least nine others, according to the official Xinhua news agency. A microblog post by the Zibo Public Security Bureau late Saturday said the fire had been “basically controlled” and that the injured had been taken to a hospital. The explosion was caused when canisters containing a chemical used to produce nylon burst, the Shandong Fire Control Department said on its official microblog.
The blast heightened concerns about China’s growing chemical industry and what many say are lax regulations that can endanger residents. It follows two explosions at a chemical warehouse on Aug. 12 in the port city of Tianjin that killed at least 121 people, injured over 700 and left 54 still missing.
While the cause of the Tianjin blasts is still unknown, executives of the company that owns the warehouse at the center of the explosions have admitted to using their political connections to skirt safety regulations that prohibit the storage of hazardous chemicals too close to residential areas. The company was storing at least 2,500 tons of hazardous chemicals at the warehouse when it caught fire, including 700 tons of sodium cyanide, as well as ammonium nitrate and potassium nitrate. According to state media, firefighters there were unaware that some of the chemicals can ignite upon contact with water. The resulting explosions killed dozens of firefighters, damaged about 17,000 homes and raised fears of chemical contamination across Tianjin.
State news media reported Friday that four new fires had broken out at the blast site in Tianjin, just hours after Chinese officials said safety hazards were found at nearly 70 percent of companies handling dangerous chemicals in Beijing, while more than 100 chemical firms have been ordered to suspend operations or shut down because of safety violations in recent days.
The explosion in Shandong on Saturday took place around 8:40 p.m. at the newly opened Runxing Chemical factory. The blast shattered windows in homes less than a mile away and sent shock waves that could be felt for at least three miles, local news media reported. After the blast, “white sticky stuff” fell from the sky and the local environmental protection department sent monitoring equipment to test air quality, The Luzhong Morning News reported.
Within minutes of the blast, photos and videos of a fire set off by the blast appeared on Chinese social media, with many people complaining about the chemical factories in their midst and the pollution such plants produce.
“There are too many chemical plants here, countless,” wrote a user who said he lived in Zibo. “The air is unbreathable and the water is undrinkable.”