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Monday, July 22, 2019, 11:55
15 killed, 15 hurt in gas plant explosion
By Shi Baoyin and Qi Xin
Monday, July 22, 2019, 11:55 By Shi Baoyin and Qi Xin

An injured worker receives medical treatment at a hospital on July 21, 2019. (PHOTO / VCG / CHINADAILY.COM.CN)

The death toll from an explosion at a gas plant workshop in Yima, Henan province, on Friday has reached 15, with 15 others severely injured.

The injured were all in stable condition at nearby hospitals, and environment monitoring data showed the city's air and water quality was normal

On-site search and rescue ended Saturday evening, according to the local government.

The injured were all in stable condition at nearby hospitals, and environment monitoring data showed the city's air and water quality was normal, according to a government statement released Saturday evening.

The cause of the accident was still under investigation, the statement said. The explosion did not affect major hazardous tank areas, and no secondary accidents had occurred, it said. Damage recovery efforts are ongoing.

ALSO READ: Death toll rises to 15 in Henan gas factory blast

The local government expressed its condolences to bereaved families and the injured. It also carried out a comprehensive investigation and rectification of production safety in the city, it added.

At around 5:45 pm on Friday, a device in the gas factory owned by Henan Coal Gas (Group) in Yima exploded.

The Ministry of Emergency Management sent a work team, and the National Health Commission dispatched medical experts to the site. More than 270 firefighters and over 90 medical workers contributed to the rescue effort, according to the local government.

"The sound was extremely loud, with a ball of fire and clouds of smoke in the air," a local resident who was 500 meters from the gas plant told Beijing News.

The plant, established in 1997, covers an area of 87 hectares, has more than 1,200 employees and mainly produces natural gas and chemical products.

Cao Sihua, who lived about 500 meters from the gas plant, said his wife and 2-month-old grandson were in the house when the explosion occurred.

"The house collapsed, and my wife took the baby and climbed out of the window, but her face and head were injured," Cao was quoted as saying by China National Radio.

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Earlier this month, the factory was named the first provincial-level enterprise in Henan to put in place a double prevention system for production safety risks.

Contact the writers at qixin@chinadaily.com.cn

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