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China detains suspects after blast at chemical plant

AFP  |  Beijing 

Authorities have detained "several" suspects in wake of an explosion at a plant in southwest that left 19 dead and injured 12 others, said.

The blast occurred at 6:30 pm (1030 GMT) Thursday at an industrial park in province's Yibin city, according to a statement on the website of the local work safety administration.

Photos on a local website showed what appeared to be the burned out shell of a building surrounded by rubble.

The building was owned by manufacturer Hengda, which was "conducting illegal construction at the plant which had not passed safety and fire control checks", the official agency said late yesterday, citing local authorities.

The has sent a team to further investigate the cause of the explosion, the agency added.

has been rocked by several industrial accidents in recent years. A septic tank explosion last November destroyed a wide swathe of a light industrial area in Ningbo, just south of

In 2015, blasts in a container storage facility killed at least 165 people in the northern port city of The explosions caused more than USD 1 billion in damage and sparked widespread anger at a perceived lack of transparency over the accident's causes and its environmental impact.

A government inquiry eventually recommended 123 people be punished. Tianjin's at the time of the accident was sentenced to 12 years in prison for graft in September.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, July 14 2018. 13:40 IST