6000 residents evacuated due to chemical plant explosion in China

Around 6,000 people were evacuated Thursday after an explosion at a chemical plant near the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

The accident occurred in the afternoon at the Futian Chemical Company in Panyu district, local news agency said.

Residents were evacuated after “a small amount” of toxic hydrogen chloride and sodium gas was detected in the air following the blast.

As of 7:30 PM Thursday, the gas dispersed and was no threat to people, according to an environmental monitoring worker.

The explosion of factory buildings occurred at around 2:30 PM. Firefighters continued to spray foam to the plant an hour after the blast. Almost all of the windows of a 5-story dormitory next to the plant were broken.

The blast caused no casualty for the chemical plant had not been operating since last year.

A local resident told reporter that he smelled pungent odor from time to time which gave him a headache and a sore throat.

Safety supervision bureau said the blast might be caused by human negligence.