Huge blast at chemical plant leaves at least two injured in central China

Witnesses post photos online of large fireball erupting after explosion in Tongling in Anhui province

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 February, 2017, 12:17am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 February, 2017, 5:13pm

A massive chemical plant blast rocked Tongling in central Anhui province on Wednesday night, injuring at least two people, state media reported.

The explosion occurred at 10.50pm in the vicinity of Tongling Hengxing Chemicals, the local government said in its social media account.

Video clips circulated online by witnesses suggest the explosion lasted for several seconds, creating an enormous fireball.

The blast sent strong shock waves through the area, with smaller explosions following, online portal Sina reported. Search and rescue operations had begun, it said.

The fire had been contained and two people were injured, People’s Daily reported.

The extent of the damage and the cause of the blast were not known.

Chinese warehouse chief gets suspended death sentence over 2015 Tianjin blast that killed 173

China’s industrial safety regulations are lax, and explosions are not uncommon.

In 2015, at least 170 people were killed and hundreds of others injured when a container storing dangerous substances exploded in the northern port city of Tianjin.