Deadly gas explosion in China

An explosion at a natural gas field in China's southwestern municipality of Chongqing has killed at least 190 people and poisoned scores, the official Xinhua news agency said on Thursday.

    Chinese industry has a poor safety record

    Authorities had evacuated residents within five km (three miles) of the disaster site, it said.

    The blast happened on Tuesday morning at the Chuandongbei gas field in Kaixian county of Chongqing municipality. A well had burst, releasing "a high concentration of natural gas and sulfurated hydrogen", the news agency said.

    The field belongs to China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), parent of oil major PetroChina.

    A hospital worker in Kaixian said: "We are very busy. There are patients everywhere. We haven't counted the casualties."

    Some had been poisoned and others had suffered chemical burns, he said, declining to give other details or his name.

    CNPC officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

    Poor safety record

    China has a notoriously poor work safety record. More than 95,600 people died in work-related accidents in China in the first nine months of the year, including explosions.

    Chongqing and the neighbouring province of Sichuan are among China's major natural gas producing areas.

    In August, PetroChina started construction of a $400 million pipeline to pump natural gas from Chongqing to central China.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?