03/22/2019, 09.56
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Jiangsu, a chemical fertilizer factory explodes: at least 47 dead

by Wang Zhicheng

The explosion was similar to a magnitude 2.2 earthquake. Fire brought under control during the night. Many people have responded to an appeal to donate blood. Factories, houses, schools in the area have been destroyed. Three thousand people evacuated. In the past the exploded factory had received fines for pollution and mismanagement. Xi Jinping's message.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - At least 47 dead and 90 wounded, including 58 in very serious conditions. This is the provisional toll from the explosion of a chemical fertilizer factory in Yancheng (Jiangsu).

The explosion took place at 2.50 pm yesterday at the Tianjiayi chemical industry. Its strength was recorded as similar to a magnitude 2.2 earthquake.

More than 640 people were taken to the hospital and dozens were recovered from under the rubble of the factory even during the last night. Many people came to hospitals at night to donate blood.

This morning, the Yancheng government issued a statement stating that the fire had been brought under control, that 3,000 workers from the surrounding factories were removed and that today schools and kindergartens remain closed, while air pollution is controlled .

Yesterday’s fire created damaged workshops and in the surrounding buildings, with collapsed walls, disintegrated window panes, doors brunt down.

The cause of the explosion is still unknown. A woman, interviewed by the AFP, said that the concern about the pollution levels of the factory and the low safety conditions was well known.

In the past, Tianjiayi, founded in 2007, had received several fines for air pollution and mismanagement. Accidents in the workplace are very common in China, with factory fires, explosions and mine collapses. The causes are often due to the lack of security protocols.

Thus far, the managers of the factory in question are in police custody.

In the last few years, the biggest incident of this kind happened in 2015, with the explosion of a dangerous chemical material depot in Tianjin, where 160 people died and nearly 1,000 were injured.

President Xi Jinping, who is visiting Italy, said that no effort should be spared to recover the people trapped under the rubble and treat the wounded. He also asked local governments to increase safety inspections.

In the photo: Fire at Yancheng factory tamed. A sign highlights the importance of safety at work.

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