Huge Gas Explosion In Nanjing
An explosion at a chemical factory in east China has killed at least six people and left hundreds injured, state media reported today. The blast damaged buildings and vehicles within a hundred-metre radius of the plant in Nanjing, injuring passengers on a passing bus. Nearby residents fled, many fearing an earthquake, as shockwaves hit their homes and windows shattered. At least six people were recorded dead at nearby hospitals, according to the state news agency Xinhua It said reporters had seen burnt bodies carried from the disaster scene.
Local media reported that more than 300 people had been taken to hospital and at least 50 were seriously injured. One victim was reportedly crushed as he slept, when the ceiling of his home collapsed on him. He died in hospital.
Xinhua said an early investigation showed the blast was triggered by a gas leak from a pipeline at the disused factory in Qixia district, in the north of Nanjing.
Photographs showed flames several storeys high shooting from the rubble and a huge cloud of black smoke, but Xinhua reported that firefighters had brought the blaze under control. Rescuers are combing through the wreckage.
"The ceiling boards fell in and the windows shattered," said an employee at the nearby Nanjing Qixia Maigaoqiao hospital. "A lot of us thought it was an earthquake íV we heard a big noise, but we thought it was thunder. A couple of minutes later, ambulances started coming in and that was when we realised it was an explosion. There was a huge flow of people. Some of their heads were covered in blood and their skin was peeling off their bodies. Some had lost all their hair." She added that casualties were still coming in, although more slowly. Staff from other hospitals had come to help treat the wounded, she said.
Xinhua reported that long-term patients were evacuated to make way for the wounded and that some hospitals had almost run out of blood. Residents donated blood at a mobile collection vehicle near the site.
At 9:56am July 28, workers were conduction demolition at Number 15, Wanshou village, Qixia district, Nanjing city. The workers accidentally severed the propylene pipe belonging to the Number 4 Nanjing Plastic Materials Factory. The gas leaked out, resulting in a huge explosion. According to CCTV, there were at least 3 deaths at the scene.
At the scene, the Jiangsu City TV Channel reporter was conducting a live broadcast. An unidentified government leader came over and asked: "What is your name? Give me your telephone. Who gave permission for you to conduct a live broadcast?" The reporter replied: "The Xinhua reporters are here too. Why don't you ask them first?"
Although this reporter identified himself as a Jiangsu TV reporter, it was to no avail as his signal was cut off. However, this particular encounter with the official was show live over Jiangsu City TV.
This video was widely disseminated on the Internet, and that official has been identified. About 30 minutes later, the video began to disappear from the various video websites.