The improper treatment of a malfunctioning chemical mechanism
has been blamed for the string of blasts at a chemical plant in
Jilin City of northeast China's Jilin Province on Sunday afternoon,
the chemical company said at an overnight news conference.
"Improper treatment of the problem at the P-102 tower of the
workshop in the benzene plant caused the explosions and fire,"
deputy general manager of the company Zou Haifeng said.
"All pipelines and wires connected to the tower have been cut
off," he said.
The blasts took place at a workshop at No. 101 Chemical Plant
under the Jilin Petrochemical Company between 1:45 PM to 3:00 PM
Sunday in Jilin City, some 100 km east of Changchun, capital of
More than 20 of the 70 people injured are still in hospital for
further observation. Six others are still missing. Two people who
were seriously hurt are out of danger after emergency operations,
according to local hospital sources.
More than 10,000 residents and students in a nearby university
have been evacuated, local authorities said.
The municipal government has asked hotels and restaurants in the
city to provide rooms for the evacuated people. Taxies were called
on to help with the evacuation.
The fire caused by the blasts is under control but is yet to be
put out completely, rescuers said.
Benzene is a clear, colorless, highly flammable and poisonous
liquid, but burning breaks it down into water and carbon dioxide,
according to Zhang Fenglin, vice president of the
(Xinhua News Agency November 14, 2005)