14 people have been killed and many more have been wounded in an explosion at a chemical plant in Xintai, in China’s eastern Shandong province. The exact cause of the explosion is not yet known.
The accident happened at a melamine production unit where a condensing unit was reportedly in the process of being repaired. Melamine is a nitrogen-rich chemical used in the production of plastic. Local officials say no toxins were released into the atmosphere in the explosion.
China’s record when it comes to industrial accidents is notoriously poor, with the blame often being put on failure to observe safety standards. The country has rushed to develop a modern industrial economy, but some critics questions whether the safety of workers has been overlooked in the process.