China: Explosion at chemical plant in Yancheng causes 78 deaths and more than 600 injured
78 people reportedly died and more than 600 people injured in an explosion at the Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical plant in Xiangshui county, eastern China on 21 Mar 2019, making it the deadliest industrial incident in China since the 2015 explosion in Tianjin, which claimed lives of 173 people.
After the incident, some 3000 people were evacuated and tests by local department of environment showed that rivers flowing through the industrial park have been contaminated. Tianjiayi Chemical’s key executives have been detained and local officials were blamed for allowing the company to continue its operations despite safety violations. The State Council ordered nationwide inspections to identify dangers in chemical factories.
Some media reports suggested that the incident was avoidable, as there had long been identifications of risk factors and safety concerns. "According to the Beijing News, the State Administration of Work Safety...had reported problems with the body responsible for monitoring safety at the Tianjiayi plant, citing insufficient analysis and identification of risk factors and hazards, and a lack of targeted measures to rectify issues."
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Author: Reuters (UK)
15 April 2019
Police have detained another 17 people in connection with a deadly pesticide plant blast that killed 78 people in eastern China... authorities said… The March 21 explosion at a plant owned by the Tianjiayi Chemical Co prompted China’s safety watchdog to launch a nationwide inspection of hazardous chemicals, mines, transportation and fire safety practices. Authorities have shut the industrial park where the blast occurred in the eastern coastal city of Yancheng, and dozens of other sites face closure to allay public safety concerns, state media reported...
The latest arrests brings to 26 the number of people detained in connection with the disaster. The 17 suspects are accused of making “false evaluations” of the company’s operations, the Yancheng government said on its official Weibo account. They include company employees and those working for “intermediary organizations,” it said without elaborating…
"China must fulfil repeated pledges on chemical safety: expert", 29 Mar 2019
UN human rights expert has called on China to live up to its promises to implement effective measures to combat the hazards and risks in its fast growing chemical industry, following another deadly explosion at an industrial plant. At least 78 people were killed and hundreds injured in the blast at the Chenjiagang Industrial Park in Yancheng city, on China's east coast, on 21 March 2019.
“As home to the world’s largest chemical industry, China must have world-class measures to protect human rights from the grave threats of its chemical industry,” said the Special Rapporteur on human rights and toxics, Baskut Tuncak. “It is saddening, but not surprising, that intermittent efforts since the 2015 explosions in Tianjin have not sufficed.” More than 160 people were killed and over 700 injured in the 2015 explosion at a chemical warehouse in Tianjin…
“China’s repeated promises on chemical safety must be followed by meaningful action and lasting measures if it is to meet its human rights obligations,” the Special Rapporteur said. “China’s Central Government has the ultimate duty to protect the human rights of its population, including workers and children, from the phenomenal threats created by its runaway chemical industry. China must ensure that its workers are not exploited by toxic exposures, and its children are able to realise their right to the highest attainable standard of health and maximum development.”...
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Author: Karoline Kan, China Dialogue (China/UK)
"China’s latest chemical plant explosion was avoidable", 26 Mar 2019
By March 25, 78 people were known to have died in the latest blast, which occurred at a plant in the Chenjiagang industrial park. A further 566 are receiving treatment in local hospitals. Officials from the plant, which belongs to Tianjiayi Chemical Company, have been detained. The cause of the explosion is still under investigation. But media reports indicate that the tragedy was avoidable…
There had long been indications of risk at the Chenjiagang industrial park, and at the Tianjiayi plant in particular… According to the Beijing News, the State Administration of Work Safety, which regulates occupational safety in China, had reported problems with the body responsible for monitoring safety at the Tianjiayi plant, citing insufficient analysis and identification of risk factors and hazards, and a lack of targeted measures to rectify issues… Media reports show that production licenses were not renewed once they had expired in 2016. In February last year, the safety authorities identified 13 different hazards at the plant. Between 2016 and 2018, the company was fined on six occasions for breaches of rules on waste gases or handling of solid waste…
The Ministry of Emergency Management… has organised a number of actions on chemical industry safety, auditing risks and issues in chemical production nationwide. Issues such as poor storage of chemicals, which caused the Tianjin blast, have been discovered at many sites. But those checks did not prevent this latest explosion…
Author: 王兆陽, 香港01 (香港)
"【江苏化工厂爆炸】志愿者发布现场实况 涉「寻衅滋事」被警传唤", 2019年3月25日
Author: 王兆陽, 香港01 (香港)
China: Environmental researcher reportedly detained by police for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” after publishing Xiangshui explosion content
[Excerpt translation from Chinese provided by Business and Human Rights Resource Centre]
Sources said that Zhang Wenbin, an environmental researcher who investigated the pollution caused by the Xiangshui explosion, was out of touch on 25 March. The Chengdong Police Station in Xiangshui confirmed that Zhang was being investigated by the police department. Zhang said when he left the police station that he was called by the police for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles”. The claim has not been verified by the police.
On 21 March when the Xiangshui explosion took place, Zhang visited the explosion site to investigate. Zhang said the police questioned him regarding him publishing live content about the Xiangshui explosion on the Internet. But Zhang’s claim has not been verified by the police.
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Author: Sky News
"Nearly 50 dead after explosion at China chemical plant", 22 March 2019
An explosion at a chemical plant in eastern China has killed 47 people and left hundreds more injured. The blast at the Tianjiayi chemical plant in Yancheng, Jiangsu province, is one of the worst in the country in recent years.
State television said 640 people were being treated for injuries after the explosion, which has left 90 in hospital in a serious condition.
Nearly 1,000 people who live close to the factory have been moved as a precaution against leaks and additional blasts... the cause of the blast is still under investigation...
The explosion happened at a factory run by the Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical company which produces more than 30 organic chemical compounds and has a dismal safety record. China's State Administration for Work Safety cited 13 types of safety hazards at the company in February 2018...