Blast in China chemical plant kills four (Lead)

August 26th, 2008 - 3:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Nanning (China), Aug 26 (Xinhua) At least four people were killed and about 44 injured in an explosion at a chemical plant in southwestern China Tuesday morning, officials said.About 17 people were also missing since the blast inside the plant, owned by Guangxi Guangwei Chemical Co, in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, said a source from the regional rescue headquarters.

More than 10,000 residents living within three kilometres of the plant were evacuated fearing more such explosions at the plant, the source said.

Witnesses said they saw thick smoke envelop the plant, and the fire was so big that it hampered rescue operations.

An investigation into the cause of the blast has been ordered.

The plant, located in a special development zone in Yizhou city, some 100 km from the regional capital of Nanning, mainly produces chemicals such as polyvinyl acetate (used in adhesives) calcium carbide, and vinyl acetate monomer (used in paints, adhesives and coatings).

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