China Factory Blast That Injured Hundreds Leaves 64 Dead

Bloomberg News
China Factory Blast That Injured Hundreds Leaves 64 Dead

(Bloomberg) -- The death toll from an explosion that ripped through a chemical plant in the eastern province of Jiangsu rose to 64 on Saturday morning, state media said, as local authorities continue searching for survivors.

The blast Thursday at the Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Co., in Chenjiagang, was the latest reminder of continued industrial risks in China, which has seen several large factory explosions in recent years. The latest incident left 94 people with severe injuries and 28 people were still unaccounted for as of 7 a.m. Saturday, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the local government.

A cause has yet to be determined and local authorities were working to prevent chemical leaks, according to state broadcaster CCTV. More than 600 had suffered at least minor injuries, the Yancheng city government said on Friday.

Police have taken people into custody over the incident, according to the statement, which didn’t offer further details on the detentions.

China has been seeking to tighten safety after industrial accidents that included a massive explosion in 2015 at a chemical warehouse in the northern port city of Tianjin, which killed 173 people. A blast at an auto parts plant in Suzhou in 2014 killed 146 people.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, set up an investigation team Friday to determine a cause of the Jiangsu explosion, CCTV said.

(Updates with the latest death toll in first paragraph.)

--With assistance from Peter Martin.

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