Probe urged on chemical plant blast

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 31 July, 2006, 12:00am

A senior work safety official has called for a thorough investigation into last Friday's chemical plant blast in Jiangsu that killed 22 people, saying the company had committed 'unreasonable and illegal' acts.

During a visit to the site in Sheyang county yesterday, State Work Safety Supervision and Administration deputy director Sun Anhua told local officials to determine the cause of the explosion.

He said there were many problems with the management of Fuyuan Chemical, a Sino-German joint venture, that were 'unreasonable and illegal'.

'The company started construction of the plant on July 1, but did not have a design blueprint until July 20,' Mr Sun said. 'It began trial production in February even though on paper it said it would start only in July.'

A chemical reactor exploded during a trial run on Friday morning. Xinhua reported the death toll stood at 22 yesterday, with 29 injured, adding families of the dead victims would receive at least 200,000 yuan in compensation. Some unofficial reports said as many as 98 people were injured.