Dozens killed in China oil blast

Last updated 07:18 26/11/2013
Reuters

Search underway for those still missing after Friday's pipeline explosion in eastern China. Paul Chapman reports.

China oil blast
Reuters
EXPLOSION: Damage from the oil blast was widespread across the city of Qingdao.

Relevant offers

Asia

Taiwan's high court rules in favour of same-sex marriage Donald Trump praises Duterte for an 'unbelievable job' on drug issue - report Defiant Duterte threatens harsh measures as thousands flee Philippines unrest Philippine church says priest, churchgoers taken hostage by IS militants Motorists' alley standoff turns nasty South Korea fires warning shots at North Korea after object crosses border Pakistan authorities seize 20 kg heroin on London-bound flight Mount Everest's famous 'Hillary Step' hasn't collapsed, it's just under snow, sherpas say Bomb blast at Thai hospital injures 24 people on anniversary of coup Indonesia police arrest dozens in raid on Jakarta gay sauna

China's president has visited hospitalised victims of deadly explosions that ripped through residential and commercial roads from a ruptured pipeline owned by the country's largest oil refiner.

The official death toll from the blasts rose to 55 earlier after rescuers found more bodies in the aftermath of Friday's industrial accident in eastern China. Nine people were still missing, according to the information office of the government of the port city of Qingdao.

Rescue efforts were continuing, the information office said. It said earlier that 166 people had been injured, 10 of whom were in critical condition.

The accident was the deadliest involving state-owned company Sinopec.

State broadcaster CCTV showed President Xi Jinping visiting a hospital in Qingdao. He spoke with and held the hand of an elderly patient, and talked and patted the arm of another. He also told a group of doctors and nurses to put all their efforts into helping the injured.

The pipeline ruptured and leaked for about 15 minutes onto a street and into the sea before it was shut off. Hours later, as workers cleaned up the spill, the oil caught fire and exploded in two locations, the city government said.

Sinopec's expansion of petrochemical projects has met with resistance from members of the public, and Friday's blasts will likely add to growing concern about safety and environmental risks.

Sinopec apologised for the explosions, which ripped slabs of pavement and overturned vehicles. It said it would investigate and "give timely reports."

About 18,000 residents were evacuated following the explosions, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

It was China's second-deadliest industrial accident of the year, after a chicken factory fire in June in northeastern Jilin province that killed 121 people.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content