A fire at the premises of a company that deals with chemicals and other industrial goods in central China’s Henan province killed 38 people, local authorities said Tuesday.
In a statement, the Anyang city government added that two people were injured during the incident, which took place on Monday.
Firefighters took about three and a half hours to control the fire, which started around 4:30 pm in China (8:30 am in Lisbon).
Images broadcast by state television CCTV show flames and smoke billowing from what appears to be a two-story building engulfed in flames. Nighttime photos show firefighters examining what’s left of the structure, complete with an extension ladder and lights.
A fire at a factory in the central Chinese city of Anyang has killed 36 people, left two others missing and sent another two to hospital. pic.twitter.com/nrvGchoLzL
– South China Morning Post (@SCMPNews) November 22, 2022
Authorities did not specify the cause of the fire.
China has a long history of fatal industrial accidents, caused by poor implementation of safety measures, fueled by competition between companies and corruption in supervisory bodies.
Poor storage conditions, locked emergency exits and lack of firefighting equipment are often cited as direct causes.
Information available online about the company that owns the building, Kaixinda, reveals that it is a wholesaler dealing in a wide range of industrial products, including specialty chemicals.
A massive explosion in 2015 at a chemical warehouse in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin killed 173 people.