At least 15 people died in a powerful blast that ripped through a gas plant in central China Friday.

Reports said the force of the blast shattered windows and blew out doors as far as 2 miles away. The blast also seriously injured another 15 others, Chinese authorities said Saturday. The blast rocked the factory in the city of Yima, damaging buildings and blowing out windows and doors within a 3-kilometer (2-mile) radius, state media reported.

The official Xinhua news agency said the explosion occurred in the state-owned Henan Coal Gas facility’s air separation unit.

Aftermath of an explosion at a gas plant in central China that left 15 dead and at least 15 others injured.
Source: South China Morning Post

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All production at the site stopped. Officials said an investigation was underway to determine the cause of the incident.

Deadly industrial accidents are fairly common in China. Safety regulations are often poorly enforced, despite recent orders from the government in Beijing to improve standards at factories and power plants.

In March, a major blast at a chemical plant in eastern Jiangsu province killed 78 people and injured hundreds. The explosion led to two dozen arrests and prompted a nationwide inspection of chemical companies. One of the country’s worst workplace accidents occurred in 2015, when a massive explosion at a chemical warehouse in the northern port city of Tianjin killed 165 people.

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