At least one person has died in a fire at a large chemical plant in Shanghai, China.
They erupted at one of the country’s largest refining and petrochemical plants around 4:00 a.m. on Saturday (20:00 a.m. GMT Friday). Parts of the sprawling complex were engulfed in flames, spewing thick columns of black smoke into the sky. Shanghai, China’s economic center, has only recently emerged from a two-month pandemic lockdown.
The cause of the fires, which occurred at an ethylene glycol plant, is unknown. The driver of a transport vehicle was killed, and a company employee was injured, according to Sinopec, the state-owned company that operates the plant in the Jinshan suburb.
According to local media, residents as far as 6 kilometers (four miles) away reported hearing an explosion. More than 500 firefighters from Shanghai were dispatched to the scene. The fires have been brought under control, according to state media, but protective burning is still being carried out.
Footage circulating of the fire at a petrochemical plant in #China is eerie end-of-the-world stuff. It’s now been brought under control but at least one death. It started in #Shanghai area at 4am today. Gotta be pretty toxic air too. pic.twitter.com/ubrdJNqgsm— Stephen McDonell (@StephenMcDonell) June 18, 2022
The sky above Shanghai, China’s most populous city, turned black from smoke, according to drone footage shared on social media. Sinopec stated that it was monitoring for environmental impact and that there had been no damage to the surrounding water environment.
A team of experts from the ministry of emergency management has been summoned to the location. Officials had imposed a rigorous lockdown on Shanghai to stop a coronavirus outbreak caused by the spread of the Omicron variety.
Residents of the global trading hub were prohibited from leaving their homes for two months, effectively closing down factories with far-reaching implications for the local economy and worldwide supply lines.
The government is adopting a “zero Covid” policy, which mandates that everyone infected with the virus be quarantined. Residents must now produce a green health code on their smartphone to leave their residential compounds and enter most venues, according to new guidelines.
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