China explosion: Death toll rises to 78; 3000 workers relocated

An aerial view of buildings destroyed in the chemical plant explosion (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

With the death of 14 more people, the toll from a chemical plant explosion in China rose to 78 on Monday. The explosion on Thursday had caused massive devastation and the entire industrial park in the Yancheng resembled an area struck by a massive earthquake with almost all buildings demolished in one go.

The China Earthquake Centre reported an earthquake of 3.0 magnitude during the time of the blast. Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical plant, where the blast took place, was flattened and 16 neighbouring factories were left with varying degrees of damage. The impact smashed windows and uprooted roofs of some buildings and reduced others to rubble. An aerial video posted by China Daily which provided the first detailed view of the area showed shocking images of the blast which has destroyed the entire neighbourhood, causing an extensive damage showcasing the destructive side of China’s unbridled industrial development.

It is the worst industrial accident since the massive explosion rocked the port area of Tianjin in 2015 in which 173 people were killed. China’s central Cabinet has ordered a national inspection on potential hazards of dangerous chemicals and safety assessments on all chemical industry parks across the country. More than 3,000 workers and around 1,000 residents have been relocated to safe places. The Ministry of Emergency Management said that 88 people were rescued from the scene.

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