19 dead in explosion at chemical factory in Sichuan, China

A fire burned for several hours after the explosion, an additional 12 were injured

The Yibin Hengda Facility as firemen arrived on the scene (Image from Twitter)

The Yibin Hengda Facility as firemen arrived on the scene (Image from Twitter)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A explosion on Thursday, July 12 at a chemical plant in China’s Sichuan Province has resulted in 19 deaths with another 12 injured.

The industrial accident occurred at the Yibin Hengda Technology facility in Jiang’an County. The fire broke out in the early evening while there was still daylight, and it was under control by around 11:30 p.m. according to reports.

Yibin Hengda is a company incorporated under the Synfarm chemical group. According to the corporation’s business profile, the facility’s work in producing pharmaceutical components may have involved amino acid derivatives and peptides, fluorine chemicals, or the solvent Cyclopentyl Methyl Ether.

China has sought to improve safety standards in its chemical manufacturing and heavy industries after a spate of industrial accidents over the years. The note notable example in recent years being the 2015 blast that rocked the city of Tianjin, and resulted in the deaths of 165 people in the area near the port storage facility.

Reuters reports that the 12 persons injured in the explosion and fire at the Sichuan facility are in stable condition, and that an investigation into the incident has begun.

The burned out Yibin Hengda facility (Image from Twitter)