8 killed in east China chemical plant explosion, fire

By The Associated Press

BEIJING, China – Eight people were killed and nine injured in an explosion and fire Monday at a chemical plant in eastern China’s Shandong province, local authorities and media reports said.

The accident was triggered by an explosion of a liquefied gas tanker in a loading area at the Linyi Jinyu Petrochemical Co. plant at about 1 a.m., the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The blast set ablaze several fuel storage tanks at the site in the Lingang Economic Zone in the city of Linyi. Nearby areas were evacuated.

The plant’s owner was detained by police and the injured were taken to a local hospital.

The fire was brought under control by late Monday afternoon after more than 900 firefighters responded, the Lingang Economic Zone said in a statement posted on the internet.

China experiences frequent industrial accidents despite orders from the central government to improve safety at factories, power plants and mines.

Among the worst accidents was a massive 2015 explosion at a chemical warehouse in the port city of Tianjin that killed 173 people, most of them firefighters and police officers.

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