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38 killed in fire at industrial wholesaler in central China

At least 38 killed in fire at industrial wholesaler in central China

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Industrial accidents are common in China and are often caused by poor compliance with safety rules.

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BEIJING — A blazing fire has killed 38 people at a company dealing in chemicals and other industrial goods in central China’s Henan province.

Two other people were injured, the local government in part of Anyang city said in a statement Tuesday.

A massive 2015 explosion at a chemical warehouse in the northern port city of Tianjin killed 173 people, most of them firefighters and police officers. The chemicals were found to be falsely registered and stored, with local officials found complicit in turning a blind eye to the potential threat.

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A fire has killed 38 people at a chemicals and industrial goods company in central China’s Henan province.CCTV / via AP

More than 200 search and rescue workers and 60 firefighters responded to the Henan fire, according to the statement.

China has a history of industrial accidents, often caused by poor compliance with safety rules in an often highly-competitive environment. Poor storage conditions, locked exits and a lack of firefighting equipment are often cited as direct causes.

In March 2019, an explosion at a chemical factory in Yancheng, located about 260km (162 miles) north of Shanghai, killed 78 people and devastated homes in a radius of several kilometres around it.

In 2015, a giant explosion in northern Tianjin at a chemical warehouse killed 165 people in one of China’s worst-ever industrial accidents.

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