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Chinese chemical plant blast kills one

An explosion at a chemical plant in eastern China has killed one person and injured nine others, a state news agency reported, less than two weeks after a similar disaster at a chemical warehouse killed 123 people.

The explosion occurred just before 9pm local time on Saturday in Zibo, a city south east of Beijing in Shandong province, the Xinhua News Agency said. It said firefighters put out the resulting fire just before 2am on Sunday.

One person working at the facility was killed, Xinhua said. It said the cause of the blast is under investigation.

Environmental authorities detected no contamination from the blast, according to Xinhua.

The facility, owned by Shandong Runxing Chemical Technology, produced adiponitrile, which can give off toxic fumes when burned, according to Xinhua. Adiponitrile is used in making nylon and other products.

The blast follows the August 12 explosion at a warehouse holding chemicals in Tianjin, a port city east of Beijing.

On Sunday, the Tianjin city government announced on its microblog account that the death toll in that disaster had been raised to 123. It said 50 people were still missing.

The cause of the Tianjin disaster is under investigation. State media say that the warehouse, which stored sodium cyanide and other dangerous chemicals, was too close to homes and that its operators may have obtained falsified safety approvals.

The disaster raised concerns about the effectiveness of China's regulatory bodies and their ability to oversee industries in which they or officials might have an interest.


From Belfast Telegraph