2 dead, 12 missing after huge blast rocks gas plant in China

The explosion occurred around 5.45pm at the Yima gas factory in Yima, Henan province, on July 19, 2019. PHOTOS: SCREENGRAB FROM WEIBO

BEIJING (XINHUA, AFP) - Two people have been killed and another 12 are missing after a huge explosion rocked a gas plant in central China on Friday (July 19), state media said.

According to state broadcaster CCTV, 18 people were seriously injured in the blast, which happened at 5.50pm local time.

The explosion occurred at around 5.45pm in the air separation unit of the Yima gas factory of Henan Coal Gas (Group) Co, Ltd.

The explosion did not occur in the gas tank areas, and all production has been stopped, according to a source of Yima city government.

The explosion caused multiple injuries and the injured were sent to the hospital, said the source.

The explosion shattered windows and doors of buildings in a 3km radius, state media said.

"Many windows and doors within a three-kilometre radius were shattered, and some interior doors were also blown out by the blast," CCTV said on its Twitter-like Weibo social media account.

Deadly industrial accidents are common in China, where safety regulations are often poorly enforced.

In March, an explosion at a chemical plant in eastern Jiangsu province killed 78 people and injured hundreds, blowing out windows of nearby residential buildings.

In 2015, China suffered one of its worst industrial accidents when giant chemical blasts in the northern port city of Tianjin killed at least 165 people.

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