Blaze strikes Nanjing state oil refinery for the second time in hours after initial blast

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 June, 2014, 12:00pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 June, 2014, 2:44pm

A state-run oil refinery in Nanjing is still in flames from an oil tank fire after firefighters thought they had stemmed a five-hour blaze from an earlier explosion.

Some 200 firefighters and 20 fire engines were dispatched to the burning refinery owned by the Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical Company after a blast rocked the site at around noon yesterday.

By 5pm, the fire was thought to be put out. But some hours later, flames raged again after combustible material in an oil tank ignited.

The latest fire has not yet been completely extinguished as of this morning, according to state news agency Xinhua. No casualties have been reported so far.

There were no reports of a water contamination, but a strong, pungent odour has filled the air.

The public security bureau and other authorities are investigating the cause of the explosion at the plant at Liuhe district in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province in eastern China.

The petrochemical company, a subsidiary of state-run oil giant China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), has said that it will implement strict security measures and step up “safety accountability” following the incident.

The company promised full public disclosure of the investigation results and said those found responsible for the blast would be severely punished.