Dozens killed in China oil blast

Last updated 07:18 26/11/2013

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

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

Relevant offers


Australian Jessica Wongso to appeal sentence for cyanide murder Crashed car snags truck and is dragged for 25km Claims North Korean leader Kim Jong Un boasts of drinking 10 bottles of Bordeaux wine in a night National Geographic 'Afghan Girl' arrested in Pakistan living under false papers US spy chief says North Korea may never give up on nuclear bomb 'I treated her as a non-person': British banker's torture video appals jury in Hong Kong murder trial Thief steals SUV to impress and then returns it Islamic State claims attack on Pakistan police academy, 59 dead Villagers rescue stranded whale on Chinese beach Australian paedophile Robert Ellis sentenced to 15 years' jail in Bali

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