Twelve missing after blast at chemical plant in Tangshan

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 March, 2014, 5:11pm
UPDATED : Friday, 07 March, 2014, 5:11pm

An explosion on Friday at a chemicals plant in northern China has left 12 people missing, state media reported.

Thirteen people were on a floor that produced emulsion explosives at the plant run by Kailuan Group in the city of Tangshan when the morning blast occurred, the official Xinhua news agency said. One person was rescued, but authorities were searching for the 12 others.

The brief report gave no cause for the explosion.

Workplace safety is a major issue in China. A shoe factory fire in the eastern city of Wenling in January killed 16 people, prompting a broad government campaign that shut down many of the city’s shoe factories to ensure compliance of safety rules.

Last June, 121 people were killed in a poultry plant fire in the country’s northeast. That fire was triggered by a short circuit, but investigators found the plant’s safety exits were blocked, trapping workers inside. Several city officials were fired for failing to enforce safety regulations.