Thousands evacuated after blast at chemical plant in southern China

November 24th, 2011 - 11:49 pm ICT by BNO News  

GUANGZHOU, CHINA (BNO NEWS) — Thousands of people were evacuated on Thursday afternoon after a large explosion ripped through a warehouse at a chemical plant in southern China, state-run media reported.

The explosion happened at around 2.35 p.m. local time at the No. 6 warehouse storage facility at the Futian Chemical Company in the Panyu district of Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province.

The state-run Xinhua news agency, citing a government statement, said more than 6,000 people in a nearby neighborhood were evacuated when emergency teams detected low levels of hydrogen chloride in the air. Inhalation of the toxic gas can cause pulmonary edema, failure of the circulatory system, and death.

A fire which broke out at the warehouse was brought under control at around 3.10 p.m. local time, district officials said. It was not immediately known if the explosion or the gas caused any casualties.

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