Jiangsu Warehouse Blast Draws Criticism from NGOs

By Lucas dos Santos, April 26, 2016

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After the notorious Tianjin blast from eight months ago, similar explosions have taken place at chemical plants throughout China. Along with in one in Shandong and another in Zhejiang later last year, the latest incident occurred in Jingjiang, Jiangsu province, in a chemical warehouse facility along the Yangtze River last week. 

A fire started around 9:40am on Friday, quickly growing and reaching towering proportions. It was only put out by firefighters 16 hours later, in the wee hours of the morning.

The facility is run by Jiangsu Deqiao Storage, in turn owned by Hengyang Petrochemical Logistics, which is registered in Singapore. Said parent company owns othe similar storage sites and berths along the river. 

Greenpeace and other environmental NGOs such as East Asia Toxics condemned the government’s lax regulations, blaming it for China’s numerous such occurrences. The facility housed some 56 types of chemicals officially classified as ‘hazardous’ by the government. Although there have been no reports of either injuries of deaths, 15,000 people live within five kilometers (three miles) of the plant.

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