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20 dead in Chinese chemical plant explosion

  • Story Highlights
  • Death toll from explosion at a chemical plant in southern China reaches 20
  • Fire put out Tuesday evening but explosions persisted until the afternoon
  • 10,000 residents living in a 1.8-miles radius of the plant were evacuated
  • Plant produces chemicals mainly used in adhesives, paints, and coatings
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BEIJING, China (CNN) -- The death toll from an explosion at a chemical plant in southern China has reached 20, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.

Sixty people were injured in the Tuesday morning blast, mostly with burns and fractures, Xinhua said.

Most of the dead worked at the plant, located in China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, Xinhua said.

The fire was put out Tuesday evening but explosions persisted until the afternoon, the agency reported.

The Guangxi Guangwei Chemical Company owns the plant. It mainly produces chemicals used in adhesives, paints, and coatings, Xinhua said.

Environmental experts went to the area along the Longjiang River near the plant to monitor for contamination, Xinhua said.

Ge Xianmin, the region's toxic substances emergency center director, told Xinhua that poisonous gases, mainly hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide, were still coming from the site. Video Watch more about the explosion »

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About 11,500 people living in a 1.8-mile (3-kilometer) radius of the plant were evacuated.

The cause of the explosion hadn't been determined, Xinhua said.

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