*Chemical Plant Blast May Have Vaporized Workers, Fire Chief Says-theepoctimes.com
*After China’s deadly chemical disaster, a shattered region weighs cost of the rush to ‘get rich’- washingtonpost.com
*Dozens killed as huge explosion rips apart Chinese chemical plant - edition.cnn.com
Other Disaster Articles:
230,000 DIED IN A DAM COLLAPSE THAT CHINA KEPT SECRET FOR YEARS - ozy.com
China Projects in Philippines: Will China Project in Philippines be Safe?
Duterte to use 'extraordinary powers' to push through China-funded Kaliwa dam -https://www.msn.com/
An aerial view of the debris of the chemical plant operated by Tianjiayi Chemical Co., after an explosion killed at least 78 people March 21 in Xiangshui county, China.
Chemical Plant Blast May Have Vaporized Workers, Fire Chief Says
The official death toll from the massive blast last week at a chemical plant in China’s Jiangsu Province is being questioned after the region’s fire chief suggested that individuals caught at the center of the explosion may have been vaporized, according to a report by state-run media The Global Times on March 24.
As of March 25, official numbers rose to 78 killed, and 13 critically injured by the blast. More than 600 others were injured, and 28 are missing.
The explosion occurred on March 21 at a pesticide factory in Chenjiagang Industrial Park in Yancheng City, Jiangsu Province, on China’s east coast. The blast created a crater and damaged neighboring buildings, while windows in buildings from as far as four miles away were shattered by the force of the explosion.
According to state media, 566 people are receiving treatment at local hospitals. One local individual who wished not to be identified told the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times that local hospitals were filled with people searching for missing loved ones.
Footage of the disaster, including the explosion, was caught by local residents and quickly shared on social media, fueling anger about safety hazards and industrial disasters in the country.
The cause of the explosion is under investigation.
The head of Jiangsu’s fire department, Lu Jun, who responded to the explosion, told the Global Times that 11 of the 17 buildings in the area have been cleared.
“From last night, some of the bodies could not be identified at all. We have to wait for the security bureau to do DNA testing,” Lu said.
“I think that, with such a huge explosive force, which affected a three-kilometer [1.9 miles] radius, I wouldn’t rule out that people at the center of the explosion were instantly vaporized.”
The interview drew widespread attention from the Chinese public, with netizens quickly expressing skepticism on social media about the official death toll, and posing the question, “How many people were vaporized?”
Such questions and doubts were swiftly deleted by the regime’s censors.
Meanwhile, local coverage of the incident has also reportedly been censored as the regime seeks to control information relating to the disaster. One reporter named Wang told Radio Free Asia (RFA) on March 23 that the Chinese regime has ordered all reporters away from the site, and directed media outlets to only re-produce official statements regarding the incident.
“All our reporters have been driven away [from the county]. We have no other choice than to use official reports,” Wang told RFA. “The local government is trying to cool down public attention. They are very experienced at it. You can understand why they wouldn’t allow us to report continually.”
After China’s deadly chemical disaster, a shattered region weighs cost of the rush to ‘get rich’
A deafening boom from the Tianjiayi plant jolted Ma from her nap around 2:30 p.m. Broken glass was everywhere. When she rushed outside, she saw neighbors lying on the ground, injured or dazed. Others fled, running down the street through a cloud of thick dust that looked like a sandstorm.
A sour stench hung in the air.
“It was like the end of the world,” she recalled.
Ma called her brother, who was working in a nearby factory. He was alive, but badly cut all over the right side of his head, which faced a window. “Then I called my mom and started panicking,” she said, holding back tears, “because no one picked up the phone.”
In the aftermath, the Beijing News quoted witnesses who said a spark in a hazardous-waste storage unit may have set off the explosion in the industrial park, where 65 chemical firms were located, creating shock waves felt miles away and a 2.2-magnitude tremor picked up by seismologists.
Dozens killed as huge explosion rips apart Chinese chemical plant
A powerful explosion ripped through a chemical plant in eastern China Thursday, killing at least 64 people and severely injuring more than 90 others.
Firefighters were still battling small fires Friday, after working through the night to put out the main blaze, state media reported.
Drone footage from the country's emergency management ministry shows an industrial area outside Yancheng city in Jiangsu province covered in firefighting foam, with storage tanks turned to twisted metals and charred factory buildings with roofs torn open.
Local authorities said earlier that dozens of fire trucks and hundreds of firefighters rushed to the scene after the blast was reported around 2 p.m. Thursday. The explosion was powerful enough for the seismological bureau to detect a small earthquake in the area, according to state media.
230,000 DIED IN A DAM COLLAPSE THAT CHINA KEPT SECRET FOR YEARS
Although the disaster is thought to be the deadliest of its kind anywhere in the world, it’s not common knowledge even inside China. When the dam broke, the Communist Party’scontrol of the mediawas near absolute, explains David Bandurski of the University of Hong Kong’s China Media Project. “Generally speaking, disasters of all forms, whether primarily natural in cause or human in cause, have been viewed by China’s leaders as highly sensitive,” he says, with the government loathe to concede culpability.
Duterte to use 'extraordinary powers' to push through China-funded Kaliwa dam
Philippine president says chronic water shortages in Manila take priority over the concerns of environmental activists and local communities
The controversial project, which has been stalled for decades, is to be built largely with Chinese money
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to use the “extraordinary powers of the presidency” to push through the controversial China-backed Kaliwa Dam project.
Duterte told local media on Monday he was prioritising the need to address chronic water shortages in Metro Manila over the concerns of environmental activists and local communities opposed to the dam’s construction.
“You have every right to protest if it puts your place in jeopardy. But if the safeguards are there and between your concerns and the crisis that we are trying to avoid, I will use the extraordinary powers of the presidency,” Duterte said.
“If your concern is it will pollute ... I just say to you [think of the] safeguards. It might create some danger or damage, but that is not my concern. My concern is the welfare, the greatest good for the greatest number. That is democracy.”
The project has been stalled for decades amid concerns by indigenous communities, who stand to be displaced, and by NGOs and the Catholic Church, who question its safety. The controversy surrounding its construction has also been fuelled by Duterte’s decision to ask China to fund the project, rather than put it to public tender.
Duterte’s Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea led a delegation to Beijing earlier this year in a bid to speed up the delivery of a promised US$211 million loan from the Export-Import Bank to fund the dam, which is to be located in Quezon province and is expected to supply Metro Manila an extra 600 million litres of water per day.