In China, a fire in a factory kills 38

A fire on Monday (November 21st) at a factory in central China killed 38 people, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday, citing local authorities. Two people were injured and taken to hospital, but their lives are not in danger, according to CCTV.

According to state media, the emergency services were immediately dispatched after being alerted to a fire at 4:22 p.m. local time (9:22 a.m. in Paris) at the Kaixinda Trading site in the city. of Anyang, in the central province of Henan, 500 km south of Beijing.

Footage released by the same sources shows thick clouds of black smoke from the blaze, with at least two fire engines on the scene battling the flames. On another video, we see the charred carcass of the building after the extinction of the fire which takes place around 11 p.m. local time.

According to the authorities, “criminal suspects” were taken into custody in connection with the fire.

Frequent industrial accidents

Industrial accidents are frequent in China. Also Monday, an explosion occurred in a chemical plant in northern China, according to official media which did not put forward a human toll but material damage to surrounding buildings. This incident took place in Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province, according to Dahebao, the official provincial daily which quoted the authorities.

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According to videos posted on social media, a fire broke out at the industrial site, releasing very dense gray smoke that formed a huge mushroom in the sky. Other images show housing on the ground strewn with shards of glass, frightened people leaving buildings or window frames falling at the foot of buildings, due to the blast of the explosion.

“Staff have been dispatched to the scene, the fire has been extinguished and the human toll is not yet known”, advanced the Dahebao newspaper on the Weibo social network, citing the authorities. According to residents interviewed by local media, people were injured by shards of glass at the time of the explosion which occurred around 5:25 p.m. local time (10:25 a.m. in Paris). The factory, named Jiangyang, was previously hit by an explosion in September 2021, according to Dahebao.

Poor compliance with safety rules

Poor compliance with safety rules, particularly in relation to storage conditions, locked exits and the lack of fire-fighting equipment is often cited as the direct cause of many tragedies.

In March 2019, the explosion of a chemical plant in Yanchenga city located 260 kilometers north of Shanghai, had caused the death of 78 people and devastated homes for several kilometers around.

One of the most serious industrial accidents is the one that occurred in 2015 in Tianjin (north). A gigantic explosion in a chemical warehouse had killed at least 165 people in this large port city located 120 kilometers southeast of Beijing.

The World with AFP

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