Nov. 22 (UPI) — At least 38 people are dead after a fire broke out Monday at a chemical factory in central China, according to state media, which also reported two people suffered injuries.
The fire started at a factory in the Wenfeng district or “high-tech zone” of Anyang City, in the central Henan Province. It took firefighters four hours to put the fire out, news agency Xinhua reported.
“After receiving the alarm, the municipal fire rescue detachment immediately dispatched forces to the scene,” state broadcaster CCTV reported.
“Public security, emergency response, municipal administration and power supply units rushed to the scene at the same time to carry out emergency handling and rescue work,” CCTV said.
Police have arrested a number of suspects in connection with the fire, but did not provide any other details.
The company that owned the factory, Kaixinda Trading, said it was a wholesaler of industrial goods and “specialized chemicals,” according to online listings.
This is not the first industrial fire in China. A number of explosions over the years have raised questions about public safety.
In 2015, two powerful explosions rocked the city of Tianjin killing 173 people in one of China’s worst industrial disasters.
In March of 2019, an explosion at a chemical plant in eastern China killed 78 people and destroyed homes.
A gas blast last year killed three people and injured more than 30 at a restaurant in Shenyang.
And in June, one person was killed and another injured in an explosion at a petrochemical plant in Shanghai.