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At least 5 Dead, 12 Missing In China Chemical Plant Explosion

A chemical plant explosion in China has left at least five people dead and eight missing, state media reported Monday.

According to the state media, the blast occurred on Sunday afternoon at a factory in northeastern Liaoning province’s Panshan County.

The state broadcaster CCTV, which reported the fire at the facility said it  was under control.

An earlier tally put the number of dead and missing at two and 12 respectively, along with 34 injured.

Videos and photos published earlier in the day by CCTV showed a cloud of thick smoke and flames rising from the factory, and a group of firefighters in helmets outside the plant.

CCTV said more than 330 firefighters had been dispatched to fight the blaze.

News releases from the local government showed photos of flames and thick black smoke rising from the complex of chemical processing machinery, pipes and storage containers.

Fire crews have brought the blaze under control and the local environmental department was monitoring the impact on air quality in the area, the government of Panshan County in the city’s suburbs said in a news release.

The cause of the accident remained under investigation, authorities said. People posting on social media said they felt the shock of the explosion, but the damage did not appear to extend beyond the plant.

China, with the world’s second-largest economy, suffers deadly industrial accidents on a regular basis. it could be due to lax safety standards and poor enforcement.

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