2008 Guangxi chemical plant explosions
According to the state-run Xinhua News Agency, "the plant mainly produces polyvinyl acetate (PVA), which is used in adhesives, calcium carbide, and vinyl acetate monomer (VAM), which is used in paints, adhesives and coatings."
The first explosion occurred at about 6 a.m. on August 26 at an organic compound workshop inside the plant; the cause is unknown. Other explosions continued until 1 p.m. Fire spread over an area of nearly 108,000 square feet (10,000m²). The explosions caused the leak of toxic substances, including ammonia, formaldehyde, acetylene, sulfurated hydrogen and carbon monoxide.
At least 20 people were killed and at least 60 were injured; six people remained missing following the explosions. Fearing further explosions and leaks, the government evacuated 11,500 residents.
Xinhua quoted the provincial toxic substances emergency center director as saying that the explosions causes no serious air or water pollution. The director also said that dams had been erected to prevent discharge of pollutants into the nearby Long River (Longjiang).
- Associated Press, 16 killed in chemical plant blasts in China (August 26, 2008).
- Death toll reaches 20 after explosion at chemical plant in China, New York Times (August 27, 2008).
- 20 confirmed dead in S China chemical plant blast, Xinhua News Agency (August 27, 2007).