Explosion at ChemChina’s Hebei Plant Caused by Gas Leak

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A gas leak at a plant owned by a ChemChina subsidiary caused a blast that killed 23 people and injured 22 this week in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, ChemChina said in a statement on Friday.

PVC producer Hebei Shenghua Chemical Industry Co suffered a leak of vinyl chloride, which caught fire and caused a chain explosion that burned trucks and buildings, ChemChina said.
In a statement published on the website, ChemChina apologized for the accident and stated that there were serious problems in security management systems.

The Zhangjiakou government told the official Wechat, a messaging platform in China, that police detained 15 people related to the explosion.

Zhangjiakou is located about 155 km (100 miles) northwest of Beijing, preparing to welcome the 2022 Winter Olympics with the capital.

The National Occupational Health Safety Emergency Administration, the official Xinhua news agency reported that after the end of the explosion will begin inspection of all large-scale chemical plant factories.

In recent years, public outrage towards safety standards has increased in recent years after rapid economic growth has been overshadowed by accidents from mining catastrophes to factory fires over the past two decades.

In August 2015, 165 people died in a chemical warehouse in the port city of Tianjin. The Government found that the disaster was caused by improper or illegally stored hazardous substances.
China promised to improve industry standards, but environmentalists said they feared the continuation of surveillance weaknesses, including an opaque production process for hazardous chemicals.

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