China Chemical Plant Explosion Kills Nine

February 29, 2012 Updated: February 29, 2012

An explosion rocked a chemical factory in central China in the morning of Feb. 28, killing nine, according to state media

The blast eruptd at a chemical plant in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, when 20 people were still in the production workshop, according to a cadre from public security bureau quoted in Xinhua, a main state media outlet.

Nine bodies were recovered, while over 40 people were hospitalized, the report said.

The explosives were mainly nitrates, nitrogen oxide gas, and others. Guanidine nitrates are a combustible and irritant chemical, with a strong effect on the eyes, skin, mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract. Nitrogen oxide is highly combustible.

According to villagers living around the plant, tremors from the blast were so strong that glass windows of many peoples’ houses were broken.