Local authorities say 38 people have died after a fire broke out at a shop selling chemicals and other industrial goods in central China.
The fire broke out in Anyang City, central Henan Province, at around 4:30 p.m. Monday, and it took firefighters about three and a half hours to control the fire at the headquarters of Caixinda Trading Company, according to the local Wenfang district government. He said.
No details have yet been released about the cause of the fire or the number of employees killed.
Kaixinda’s online listings indicated it was a wholesaler specializing in a wide range of industrial products, including what were described as specialty chemicals.
CCTV reported, “After receiving the alarm, the municipal fire detachment immediately sent troops to the scene.
“Public security, emergency response, city administration and power supply units rushed to the scene at the same time to carry out rescue work and deal with emergency cases,” he added.
Authorities said two “suspected criminals” had been arrested in connection with the fire, but provided no further details.
Industrial accidents are common in China due to poor safety standards and corruption among those responsible for enforcing them.
In June, one person was killed and another injured in an explosion at a chemical plant in Shanghai. A fire at the Sinopec Shanghai petrochemical plant in the remote Jinshan district sent thick clouds of smoke over a large industrial area, with three fires burning in separate locations.
Last year, a gas explosion killed 25 people and reduced several buildings to rubble in the central city of Xi’an.
In March 2019, an explosion at a chemical plant in Yancheng, 260 kilometers (161 miles) from Shanghai, killed 78 people and destroyed homes within a radius of several kilometers.
Four years ago, a huge explosion in northern Tianjin at a chemical warehouse killed 165 people, one of the worst industrial accidents in Chinese history.
With Agence France-Presse, Associated Press and Reuters