30,000 in­hab­i­tants evac­u­ated in China paraxy­lene fac­tory blaze

The China Post - - GUIDE POST -

Al­most 30,000 peo­ple living near a Chi­nese chem­i­cal plant where a huge fire blazed for a to­tal of nearly 50 hours were evac­u­ated be­fore the flames were fi­nally ex­tin­guished Thurs­day, me­dia said

The fire at the fac­tory pro­duc­ing paraxy­lene — a chem­i­cal com­monly known as PX and used to make fab­ric — be­gan on Mon­day evening, with ex­plo­sions rocking the build­ing in Zhangzhou.

The fire was first put out on Tues­day night, but two stor­age tanks ig­nited again on Wed­nes­day, the of­fi­cial news agency Xin­hua re­ported.

“A to­tal of 29,096 peo­ple have been evac­u­ated from the sur­round­ing area,” Xin­hua news agency said late Wed­nes­day, adding in a sep­a­rate dis­patch Thurs­day that the fire had “fi­nally been put out” in the early hours.

Six peo­ple were in­jured at the fac­tory in the eastern prov­ince of Fu­jian, the agency said, in its sec­ond ac­ci­dent in two years.

Tele­vi­sion footage ear­lier this week showed flames bil­low­ing into the air as more than 800 fire­fight­ers bat­tled to con­trol the blaze.

Pro­pos­als for plants pro­duc­ing PX, a flammable and car­cino­genic liq­uid used in the pro­duc­tion of polyester films and fab­rics, have sparked large protests in sev­eral Chi­nese cities in re­cent years over per­ceived health risks.

The Zhangzhou PX plant was orig­i­nally slated to be built in the nearby coastal city of Xi­a­men, but was moved to its present site af­ter thou­sands took part in a protest in 2007.

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