Deadly chemical plant blast: Other recent industrial disasters in China

An explosion at a pesticide plant in eastern China's Jiangsu province has killed over 40 people and injured more than 600, state media say.
Firemen at work following an explosion at a chemical plant in Yancheng in China's eastern Jiangsu province, on March 22, 2019.
Firemen at work following an explosion at a chemical plant in Yancheng in China's eastern Jiangsu province, on March 22, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - The massive chemical plant blast that killed dozens and injured hundreds in east China is the latest in a string of industrial accidents to rock the country.

At least 47 people were killed and hundreds were injured in Thursday's (March 21) explosion that flattened an industrial park in the city of Yancheng, Jiangsu province.

Here are some of the worst accidents to hit China in recent years:

Zhangjiakou gas leak

In November, a gas leak at a plant in the northern Chinese city of Zhangjiakou - among the host locations for the 2022 Winter Olympics - killed 24 people and injured 21 others.

Leaked chloroethylene came in contact with a fire source causing the explosion, authorities said in a February report that revealed the Chinese chemical firm responsible for the accident had concealed information and misled investigators.

The authorities pointed to the company's lack of safety measures and "chaotic" management for contributing to the blast.

Sichuan chemical plant

Last July, a blast at a chemical plant in south-west Sichuan province left 19 dead and 12 injured. The company had undertaken illegal construction that had not passed safety checks, according to local authorities.

Photos of the plant showed what appeared to be the burned-out shell of a building surrounded by rubble.

Beijing lab explosion

Three students were killed in a laboratory blast at a Beijing university in December in an accident that blew out windows and left the building a blackened shell.

A scientific research experiment on wastewater treatment in the university's environmental engineering laboratory had caused the explosion.

Tianjin blast

In 2015, giant chemical blasts at a container storage facility killed at least 165 people in the northern port city of Tianjin.

The explosions caused more than US$1 billion in damage and sparked widespread anger at a perceived lack of transparency over the accident's causes and its environmental impact.