6,000 people evacuated after chemical plant blast in China

Story highlights

  • The explosion occurred at the Futian Chemical Company
  • A small amount of hydrogen chloride was detected in the air
  • An investigation of the blast is under way
About 6,000 residents in southern China were evacuated Thursday after an explosion tore through a warehouse at a chemical plant, state media reported.
The blast took place around 2:35 p.m. at the Futian Chemical Company in the southern city of Guangzhou, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported, citing the local government.
A small amount of hydrogen chloride was detected in the air around the plant, Xinhua said. Hydrogen chloride is a colorless to lightly yellow toxic gas with a strong, irritating smell.
The news agency reported firefighters were still at the scene and that an investigation of the accident was under way.
On Saturday, 14 people died because of a chemical plant explosion in the eastern Chinese city of Xintai, state media said.