SHANGHAI – At least seven people were killed and five injured due to an explosion at a factory in China’s Jiangsu province on Sunday, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.
It is the second plant blast in Jiangsu in 10 days after an explosion at a pesticide factory left 78 people dead in the eastern province.
Xinhua said the explosion on Sunday at a metal-processing plant took place around 7 am in a container of scrap metal placed in an outdoor yard of the company owned by Kunshan Waffer Technology.
The company makes magnesium and aluminum alloy injection molding products and die castings.
The cause of the explosion which left a portion of the factory in flames was not known immediately.
The deadly explosion in the city of Kunshan bordering Shanghai comes 10 days after an explosion at chemical plant in Jiangsu.
The powerful explosion on March 21 at a chemical plant in the city of Yancheng killed at least 78 people and injured 600 more.
It was caused after a fire broke out at a pesticide factory of Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical, whose owners have since been arrested.
The pesticide factory explosion was so powerful that it tore down the buildings of nearby factories and shattered the windows of the houses in the vicinity. It also caused an earthquake of magnitude 2.2.
Dozens of workers were trapped after some buildings collapsed due to the shock wave produced by the blast.
The schools and kindergartens in the areas were closed and around 3,000 people were evacuated, while authorities have been monitoring the air and water quality in the region.
Such accidents are frequent in the Chinese industrial sector, where, despite new initiatives, safety regulations remain lax.
After the Jiangsu factory explosion, China’s work safety panel announced that it would carry out a risk assessment of chemical factories to increase safety standards.
The panel which is responsible for the regulation of risks to occupational safety and health said it would strengthen the control and management of the dangerous chemicals.
On Nov. 28 last year, at least 22 people died and another 22 were injured in an explosion near a chemical plant in the city of Zhangjiakou, 100 kilometers (62 miles) northwest of the national capital Beijing.
In 2015, the northern city of Tianjin was the scene of one of the most serious incidents in recent years, in which at least 170 people were killed after an explosion at a container terminal in the city’s port.