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North China chemical plant explosion: 2 dead and 12 missing | World News

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A massive explosion at a chemical plant in northeast China has killed at least two people and left 12 missing.

An explosion on the outskirts of Panjin, Liaoning province, east of the capital Beijing, wounded 34 others on Sunday.

A news release from the local government showed photos of flames and thick black smoke billowing from a complex of chemical processing machinery, pipes and storage vessels.

Also read: China hits back at U.S. criticism of Latin America actions

The government of Panshan County, on the outskirts of the city, said in a release that firefighters had brought the fire under control and local environmental protection authorities were monitoring the impact on air quality in the area.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation, authorities said. People posting on social media said they felt the brunt of the explosion, but the damage did not appear to extend beyond the factory.

Also read: China updates Covid death toll

As the world’s second largest economy, China is prone to frequent fatal industrial accidents.

The central government has pledged stronger security measures since a 2015 explosion at a chemical warehouse in the northern port city of Tianjin killed 173 people, mostly firefighters and police. In that case, some local officials were accused of accepting bribes to ignore security violations.

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