China power plant blast kills at least 21

The blast in Dangyang city in the central province of Hubei occured when a high-pressure steam pipe exploded, killing at least 21 and wounding another five people.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A coal-fired power plant in China.

An explosion at a power plant in China killed at least 21 people and injured five on Thursday, state media said, the latest deadly industrial accident in a country that struggles with poor safety standards.

The blast in the city of Dangyang in the central province of Hubei took place around 3:20 pm (local time), when a high-pressure steam pipe exploded, the official Xinhua news agency said.

"The injured have been rushed to hospital," it said, adding that authorities had launched a rescue effort, although the exact cause of the blast had not immediately been ascertained.

Deadly accidents are relatively common at industrial plants in China, and anger over lax standards is growing after three decades of swift economic growth marred by incidents from mining disasters to factory fires.

China has vowed to improve safety at such facilities. President Xi Jinping has said authorities would learn the lessons paid for with blood after chemical blasts in the port city of Tianjin killed more than 170 people last August.

At least five people were confirmed dead following an explosion that took place at a chemical factory in China’s Shandong province in September 2015.

In mid-January this year, at least four workers died in a blast at a machinery factory in China’s largest city Shanghai.

One week later, three people were killed and more than 50 injured when explosions ripped through a fireworks factory in eastern Jiangxi Province, causing the evacuation of 1,000 nearby residents.

Also in April this year, another two people were killed and five otheres hospitalised in an explosion at a chemical factory in China’s eastern Shandong province.

Earlier this summer more than 130 people were hospitalised after chemicals leaked from a plant in eastern China.

TRTWorld and agencies