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A fire broke out Monday afternoon at a factory in the city of Anyang, in the central province of Henan, China. The latest toll is at least 38 dead and two injured. “Criminal suspects” have been taken into custody.

Thirty-eight people died and two others were injured in a factory fire in central China, the official Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday, citing local authorities.

The fire took place “Monday afternoon in a factory in the city of Anyang, in the central province of Henan”, specified the official Chinese agency, without giving further details. According to state media, emergency services were alerted to a fire at 4:22 p.m. (8:22 GMT) at the Kaixinda Trading business site.

“After receiving the alert, the municipal fire department immediately dispatched teams to the scene,” state broadcaster CCTV said. “Public security, emergency response services, city administration and power supply units rushed to the scene at the same time to carry out rescue and rescue operations,” it said. she added, stating that the fire had been extinguished around 11 p.m.

Footage shared by state media shows thick clouds of black smoke from the blaze, with at least two fire engines on scene battling the flames. Another video shows the charred carcass of the building after the fire was extinguished.

An initial report had reported 36 dead and two missing. Separately, two people were injured and taken to hospital, but their lives are not in danger, CCTV reported.

Authorities say “criminal suspects” have been taken into custody in connection with the fire.

Frequent industrial accidents

Also on Monday, an explosion occurred in a chemical plant in northern China, according to official media which did not put forward a human toll but material damage to surrounding buildings. This incident took place in Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province, according to Dahebao, the official provincial daily which quoted the authorities.

According to videos posted on social media, a fire broke out at the industrial site, releasing very dense gray smoke that formed a huge mushroom in the sky.

Other images show housing on the ground strewn with shards of glass, frightened people leaving buildings or window frames falling at the foot of buildings, due to the blast of the explosion.

According to residents interviewed by local media, the explosion occurred around 5:25 p.m. (9:25 a.m. GMT) and people were injured by shards of glass. The factory, named Jiangyang, was previously hit by an explosion in September 2021, according to Dahebao.

Industrial accidents are common in China, often caused by poor compliance with safety rules.

With AFP

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