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China: Around The Nation

Three killed, 21 injured after disposal of explosives goes wrong in northern China

Engineering company was disposing of materials when they caught fire, sparking blast that was heard across city of Linghai, Liaoning province

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 February, 2017, 2:14pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 February, 2017, 2:21pm

Three people were killed and 21 others injured in a blast in northeastern China on Tuesday evening.

The blast occurred at 6.30pm at an unnamed site in Linghai, Liaoning province, while an engineering company was disposing of some explosives which caught fire, The Beijing News reported.

Local authorities were investigating the exact cause of the accident, the report said.

Residents were quoted as saying they heard the explosion across the city and felt tremors in the ground.

Public documents showed that the engineering firm was registered to sell and store explosives, according to the report.

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

The Linghai city government was just this month named the mainland’s leading city for work safety for the fourth year in a row.

The incident caused a stir on social media, with many users questioning the frequent occurrence of explosions in recent years.

“Why have there been so many safety accidents lately?” one Weibo user asked. “Please pay close attention to work safety these days.”

In August 2015, two blasts in Tianjin’s industrial Binhai New Area killed 173 people and sent shockwaves felt 20km away.

The explosions were caused by improperly stored hazardous chemicals including nitrocellulose and ammonium nitrate in a warehouse in the port district.

At least 700 tonnes of sodium cyanide was stored at the site, much of which leaked into the drainage system.