Another Chemical Plant Explodes in China
Only mere weeks after the devastating explosion in the port city of Tianjin, a fourth chemical plant in China has gone up in flames, this time in the eastern province of Zhejiang, in Lishui city. The chemical plant, as of now housing unknown pollutants, was destroyed shaking more than just the surrounding structures’ foundations.
For a country still trying to recover from the Aug. 12 explosions in Tianjin that killed at least 160 people and rattled the political landscape of the communist state, this new explosion, being the 4th chemical plant/storage facility destroyed in just under a month, certainly strikes one as an odd series of events.
Explosion 1: Port City of Tianjin Aug. 12 2015
At around 22:50 local time on Aug. 12 a fire broke out at a container storage facility located in the Binhai New Area of Tianjin, China. Firefighters, lacking the necessary knowledge to fight the fire properly, dowsed the flames with retardants and water, setting forth an unimaginably violent chemical reaction.
At around 23:30 local time the first major explosion occurred, registering as a 2.3 magnitude earthquake and equivalent to roughly 3 tons of TNT. 30 seconds later the 2nd larger explosion occurred, the equivalent of around 21 tons of TNT, and it was this explosion that caused the majority of the damage. Firefighters, which often operate within 80 ft. of blazes had absolutely no chance of survival.
State media reports say the warehouse, storing sodium cyanide and other dangerous chemicals, was located too close to residential areas and may have obtained falsified safety approvals.
In a rather strange turn of events, small animals such as rabbits, pigeons, and chickens have been placed within the disaster zone to test the effects of the still vastly unknown chemicals that have contaminated the area.
Explosion 2: Zibo City, Shandong Aug. 23 2015
Just before 21:00 local time a fire broke out after an explosion at a factory in Lijin county in Shandong province, killing one person.
This plant happened to store adiponitrile, which the CDC says can cause “irritation to eyes, skin, and respiratory system, headaches, dizziness, lassitude (weakness, exhaustion), confusion, convulsions, blurred vision, dyspnea (breathing difficulty), abdominal pain, nausea, [and] vomiting.”
Explosion 3: Dongying City, Shandong Aug. 31 2015
At roughly 23.22 local time an explosion rocked a plant, this time in the chemical industry zone in Lijin, Dongying City of Shandong in eastern China, also killing one person.
Officials said the fire was brought under control about five hours later. Dongying News, which is run by the Dongying city government, said six executives of the company that runs the factory, Shandong Binyuan Chemical, had been detained and that the explosion was under investigation
Explosion 4: Lishui city, Zhejiang Sep. 7 2015
The most recent explosion, occurring around 23:00 local time, hasn’t claimed any immediate victims although information regarding chemicals stored at the facility has been all but nonexistent and only time will tell the full extent of the contamination.
As a result of the explosions and raising concerns over safety practices, an inspection of places storing hazardous chemicals in Beijing was issued, unearthing safety issues at 85 out of 124 sites and resulting in two emergency factory closures.
Conspiracy theories abound from civil strife to the explosions being tied to the current devaluation of the Yuan and the repercussions that it holds on the global economy.
If you’re anything like me you’re still in a state of shock due to the awe-inspiring images and videos captured of the Tianjin explosions and now the rest of these events are simply shock waves reverberating from an epicenter of chaos and catastrophe.
What are your feelings? Are these mere coincidences or is foul play at hand? Join the conversation below and on Facebook, and on Twitter using the hashtag #DMTalk.