A huge explosion took place at a chemical plant in Zhangjiakou, Hebei on November 28, leaving 22 dead, along with 22 injured. Most of the victims were truck drivers on-site when the blast occurred, according to Chongqing Morning Post.
The incident occurred at around 1am outside of Hebei Shenghua Chemical Industry Plant, when a tanker carrying unidentified chemicals suddenly exploded while waiting in a line of vehicles to enter the facility, according to The Paper. The explosion was reportedly heard over 2 kilometers away.
The blast quickly ignited nearby cars, with a total of 50 vehicles, including 38 trucks and 12 normal-sized cars, destroyed by the conflagration.
"I started realizing the trucks behind mine were getting caught in the fire, which was rapidly engulfing the vehicles one-by-one, and pretty soon all of the trucks in the line were swallowed by it," said Mr. Wang, who, unlike other unfortunate drivers who were sleeping at the time, reacted fast enough to escape his truck before the flames reached his vehicle.
The fire has since been extinguished by fire workers and the injured have been taken to local hospitals for treatment. No subsequent explosions have been reported.
Watch the horrific incident in the video below (VPN off):
The chemical plant, whose main products include polyvinyl chloride branches, caustic soda and liquid chlorine, has denied that the truck was one of theirs and there has been no statement as to what chemicals the truck was carrying at the time. Youth.cn reported that the chemicals the truck was carrying were hazardous.
A local resident living about 1 kilometer from the site said the explosion shattered the windows of his house and made him feel unwell, as he suffered a headache and a sore throat following the incident.
At around 11am on November 28, a village in Xuanhua county, which is located about 1 kilometer from the explosion site, began asking its residents to evacuate to avoid inhaling the hazardous gas.
Currently, the chemical plant has suspended operations and further investigation into the cause of the blast is underway.
[Cover image via Xinhuanet.com]