A mushroom cloud over Jilin


Wuhan Morning Post
January 18, 2010

A chemical plant in Jilin City caught fire last night, rocking Longtan District with explosions.

A report from the New Culture View republished in today’s Wuhan Morning Post quotes a local eyewitness:

Ms. Song, who lives nearby, said that the fire at the plant was very large, and explosions kept coming ever since the fire started: “It was like New Year’s firecrackers. They were really loud.” The air was filled with an acrid odor, and the explosions sent a mushroom cloud up into the sky.

Another local resident said that the plant produced adhesive labels. It operated during the night and was inactive during the day.

The fire was extinguished by 10:30 last night. Firefighters have not reported discovering any deaths.

According to a more recent report from the China News Agency, the accident occurred at a small, privately-run factory that produced strapping tape. Heat from the fire caused four different chemical ingredients to explode.

Jilin’s Longtan District is home to much of the city’s extensive chemical industry. In 2005, an explosion at the #101 Petrochemical Plant spilled benzene into the Songhua River and led to panic over the safety of drinking water in Jilin and other cities downstream.


The chemical plant in flames
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