Dongying chemical plant explosion: Blast shakes eastern Chinese province of Shandong

The explosion comes weeks after 145 people died in Tianjin

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The Independent Online

An explosion has reportedly rocked a chemical plant in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong.

A single "loud" explosion was heard in Dongying shortly before midgnight, state radio reported on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter.

No casualties have yet been reported following the blast late on Monday. The cause of the incident remains unclear.

An image of the incident appeared to show bright flames filling the sky in what appears to be a relatively remote industrial area.

Footage purported to be of the incident was been shared widely online. However it later emerged it was in fact of the tragic explosions in the port city of Tianjin, northern China, which killed over 145 people on 12 August.

The blast on Monday is the second to occur at a chemical plan in Shandong province in a matter of days. One person died and eight people were killed in the incident last week, the Mirror reported.

 

The incident is the latest to thrust China's safety standards under the spotlight, as industrial accidents are all too common in the nation which has experienced three decades of fast economic growth.

In the wake of the Tianjin blast, the Communist Party has sacked the head of China's safety regulator, who was previously the vice mayor of the city.

Shortly after, 12 government officials and company executives were detained.

However, it was unclear whether they were "criminally detained" - the status before a person is charged - as was reported by the state-run Xinhua news agency.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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