t least 47 people are dead and 640 more injured following a massive explosion at a chemical factory in Jiangsu province on Thursday afternoon.
The blast ripped through the factory, located inside a chemical industrial park in Xiangshui county, at around 2:48 pm. The explosion followed a fire at the facility and is reported to have involved the chemical compound benzene.
Homes nearby saw their windows shattered in the blast while China’s earthquake administration registered a 2.2-magnitude tremor in the area. Videos have gone viral on Chinese social media showing a huge plume of fire and smoke erupting from the ground.
China, of course, has a long history of horrific factory explosions. The worst came on August 12th, 2015 when a massive chemical blast ripped through Tianjin’s Binhai New Area, killing 173 people and leaving behind a colossal crater at ground zero.