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Several dead in China explosions.

8/26/2008 3:08:26 PM

At least five people have been killed and 55 injured after a series of explosions at a chemical plant in southern China, the Xinhua state news agency reported.

Another 14 people were missing after Tuesday's blast in the factory in Guangxi Zhuang province, which produced chemicals used for making paints and adhesives, according to Xinhua.

Firefighters struggled to control a raging blaze at the Yizou city plant, but by late afternoon the fire was under control, the report said.

About 11,500 residents within three kilometres of the plant were evacuated from the area following the blasts.

Firefighters hampered

The sequence of explosions hampered efforts by firefighters to extinguish the blaze, which eventually spread over more than 10,000 square metres, Xinhua added, quoting firefighters at the scene.

"With explosions continuing and a fire raging, it is quite treacherous for rescuers, since there are huge hidden dangers amid the blasts, along with leaks of toxic gases such as ammonia and formaldehyde," Xinhua said.

The plant, owned by the Guangxi Guangwei Chemical Company, mainly produces polyvinyl acetate, calcium carbide and vinyl acetate monomer - chemicals used in making paints, adhesives and coatings, Xinhua said.

The cause of the blasts was still being investigated, and it was not immediately known how many people were in the plant when the initial explosion occurred, the report added.

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Publication:Aljazeera.net
Date:Aug 28, 2008
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