According to the state television in China, at least five people were killed and eight others are missing following a huge explosion at a chemical plant north-eastern China.
The explosion occurred on Sunday at 3.13pm GMT (7.13am GMT), just outside Panjin, Liaoning Province, east of Beijing.
According to initial state TV reports, another 30 people were also injured.
According to reports, the explosion occurred at Haoye Chemical Co Ltd’s plant while workers were performing maintenance work.
According to authorities, the cause of the explosion is still being investigated.
Chinese-based trade sources claim that the company shut down its entire oil refinery, chemical complex and other facilities. This closure could continue for several months.
Local media footage showed thick black smoke rising from pipes, chemical processing machinery and storage containers.
According to Panshan County’s government, firefighters have put out the flames, while air quality was being monitored.
People who posted on social media claimed that they felt the shock, but the damage didn’t appear to have extended beyond the plant.
Benny Dwika Leonanda (Associate Professor at Andalas University) posted many clips of the explosion taken by the Xinjingbao newspaper to Twitter.
The death toll has risen from the initial two deaths to at least five since he posted the footage.
Panjin Haoye, one of three independent refineries that were named by the Liaoning province government as having evaded fuel tax during a clampdown to consolidate its refining industry, was last year.
The latest deadly industrial accident in China
This kind of incident is not uncommon in China, which has suffered a variety of industrial accidents that resulted in death.
An explosion at a chemical storage facility in Tianjin’s northern port killed 173, many of whom were members of emergency services.
After a series of local officials were accused in taking bribes to ignore safety violations, the central government has promised stronger safety measures.
Another tragic incident occurred in 2019. The Tianjiayi chemical facility in Yancheng in Jiangsu province killed 47 people, and injured hundreds more.
Yangcheng’s city government stated that approximately 1,000 people living in close proximity to the factory were relocated as an precaution against additional blasts and leaks.