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Fire and Explosion at China Petrochemical Plant Kills 8, Injures 9

Reuters, June 6, 2017
Reuters

An explosion rocked a petrochemical plant in China's eastern province of Shandong on Monday, killing eight people and injuring nine, state media and local government officials said. Deadly accidents are common at industrial plants in China, where anger is growing over lax standards after three decades of rapid economic growth marred by incidents ranging from mining disasters to factory fires. Monday's blast took place about an hour after midnight, triggering fires at the loading area of Linyi Jinyu Petrochemical Co. Ltd. in the Linyi Lingang economic development zone, the state news agency, Xinhua, said.

The toll rose to eight, as authorities confirmed the deaths of seven people who had been reported missing, in addition to one death reported earlier, the local government said on its microblog. Nine people were injured and the fires have been put out, the government said. The "responsible person" at the company that runs the plant has been detained, Xinhua added, without giving details. In 2015, huge chemical explosions in the port city of Tianjin killed more than 170 people, prompting a vow by President Xi Jinping that the authorities would learn the lessons paid for in blood.

(Reporting by John Ruwitch; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Editing by Robert Birsel and Clarence Fernandez)

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