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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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