At least 36 dead in Chinese factory fire with two missing

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A fire at a factory in central China has killed at least 36 people, with two more missing and another two in hospital, although their conditions are not thought to be life-threatening. State media reported the blaze broke out at a plant in Anyang city, in the central Henan Province on Monday November 21.

News agency Xinhua reported the story but did not share any further details.

Rescue services reportedly received news of the fire at 4:22pm local time, at Kaixinda Trading Co Ltd, in the Wenfeng district, or “high-tech zone”, in Anyang city.

The broadcaster CCTV said: “After receiving the alarm, the municipal fire rescue detachment immediately dispatched forces to the scene.

“Public security, emergency response, municipal administration, and power supply units rushed to the scene at the same time to carry out emergency handling and rescue work.”

They added that the fire had been extinguished by approximately 11pm local time.

According to authorities, “criminal suspects” had been taken into custody in connection with the incident, although no further details have been released.

In June this year one person was killed and another injured in an explosion at a chemical plant in Shanghai.

The fire at a Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co plant in the Jinshan district caused thick clouds of smoke to appear due to three fires burning in separate locations.

Other serious accidents have occurred over the past few years, as a gas blast killed 25 people and raized several buildings to the ground in the central city of Shiyan in 2021.

In March 2019 an explosion at a chemical factory in Yancheng, located 260km (161 miles) from Shanghai left 78 people dead and made several people homeless.

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One of China’s worst-ever industrial accidents took place four years previously in 2015 at a chemical warehouse in Tianjin.

A giant explosion at the warehouse killed 173 people with eight people missing, presumed dead.

A number of emergency services responders also lost their lives in the tragedy, including police officers and 104 firefighters.

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