Dongying factory blast kills one, six execs arrested

A blast seen and heard in a chemical industry zone in Lijin, Dongying City of Shandong on Aug. 31st, 2015.
Source: People's Daily China | Weibo
A blast seen and heard in a chemical industry zone in Lijin, Dongying City of Shandong on Aug. 31st, 2015.

A chemical factory exploded in eastern China, killing one person, a state-run local news website reported Tuesday, nearly three weeks after massive chemical warehouse explosions in the country exposed lax enforcement of safety regulations.

The Dongying News website, which is run by the Dongying city government, said the factory in Lijin county in Shandong province exploded at 11:22pm local time on Monday and the fire was brought under control about five hours later.

Dongying News said that six executives of the company that runs the factory, Shandong Binyuan Chemical, had been detained and that the explosion was under investigation.

The People's Daily and local state radio station had reported the blast earlier, with the People's Daily tweeting a picture from the scene.

The company, located in the Lijin Binhai Economic and Technological Development Zone, said on its website that it had the capacity to produce 20,000 tons of adhesive materials annually. No one was available to comment at the company.

Calls to the Lijin county propaganda department were hung up. People answering calls to the police and fire offices said they had no information.

The area is 300 kilometers (190 miles) away from Tianjin, where blasts on August 12 at warehouses storing hazardous chemicals killed at least 158 people, most of whom were firefighters. The warehouses were closer to homes than is allowed under safety regulations, and they were storing more hazardous material, including 700 tons of sodium cyanide, than was permitted.

Authorities are investigating wrongdoing in permit approvals and regulation of the warehouse company, Ruihai International Logistics, and have detained 12 company employees and executives and 11 government officials.