A blast tore through a chemical plant in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong Saturday night. Firefighters are on the scene battling flames, according to state-run People's Daily newspaper. Eight people are reported injured.
No deaths have been reported, according to China's state news agency Xinhua.
A residential area is apparently within half a mile or so of the site of the explosion, which took place in Zibo, a city of more than 4 million residents.
BREAKING: Residential area is less than 1km from the blast of the chemical plant in Huantai County, Shandong Province pic.twitter.com/RVvHMaz9ar
— People's Daily,China (@PDChina) August 22, 2015
Images of the blast have surfaced on Twitter:
— Grasswire (@grasswire) August 22, 2015
This month, twin blasts at a container-storage station in the Chinese port city of Tianjin killed 121 people, according to the latest figure reported by the official Xinhua News Agency. In all, 640 remain hospitalized, the agency said. The cause of that disaster is still under investigation. In the wake of the explosions, more than 100 chemical companies across seven provinces were told to shut down or suspend operations because of safety violations, Reuters reported.
Authorities found the warehouse in Tianjin was storing hundreds of tons of sodium cynaide, an amount above the legal limit. They also said the firm that managed the storage center -- Tianjin Dongjiang Port Ruihai International Logistics -- violated national regulations that require large warehouses that store chemicals should be at least 1,000 meters away from public buildings and transit networks. A recent New York Times report shed light on the proximity of hazardous waste facilities to highways and schools across the country.
This is a breaking-news story.