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The blast site near Shenghua chemical plant in Zhangjiakou city, North China’s Hebei province.       --Photo Xinhua

Truck carrying chemicals explodes, killing 22 in China

CHINA (China Daily) -- A truck transporting hazardous chemicals exploded in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, early Wednesday morning, leaving at least 22 dead and another 22 injured.
The blast occurred near the gates of Hebei Shenghua Chemical Industry in Qiaodong district around 12:40 am, igniting a fire that engulfed nearby vehicles, according to a local work safety official quoted by thepaper.cn.
The official, identified only as Wu, said the drivers of those vehicles were among the deceased.
The fire spread to 38 trucks and 12 cars before it was extinguished by firefighters. Footage posted online shows a row of trucks parked along a road on fire. An image posted by China Central Television also shows a burned-out car near a wall, although nearby trees appear undamaged.
Authorities said they are investigating the cause of the blast. The injured were taken to the hospital.
Employees at the Shenghua plant said operation has been suspended out of safety concern.
Shenghua is affiliated with China Haohua Chemical Group, a subsidiary of State-owned ChemChina, which is ranked 167th among Global Fortune 500 enterprises, according to company websites. Fu Jianhua, the vice-minister of emergency management, has led a team to the site to guide relief work.


(Latest Update November 29, 2018)

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