Factory fire kills 36 in central China

Two people are also missing after blaze at industrial wholesaler

Firefighters use a ladder to climb into the factory gutted by fire in Anyang, China. AP
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Thirty-six people are dead and two missing after a factory fire in central China.

It took four hours to extinguish the blaze, which broke out at a factory on Monday afternoon in Anyang, Henan province, state-run Xinhua news agency said.

More than 200 firefighters were sent to the site, CCTV reported.

Search and rescue operations were carried out overnight and two people were admitted to hospital with minor injuries.

Authorities said suspects had taken into custody over the blaze but did not provide any further details.

The factory, located in the city's high-tech zone, is said to produce wholesale industrial goods, including specialised chemicals.

There was no immediate indication as to whether authorities had launched an investigation into the cause of the fire.

Rescuers gather at the site of the fire in Anyang, Henan province, on Monday. AP

Hundreds of people in China have died in a spate of industrial disasters in recent years, largely attributed to poor safety standards and corruption.

In 2018, authorities pledged to take action after a string of incidents at chemical plants and coal mines, only to be followed by an explosion which killed 19 people at an industrial park in Chengdu.

An explosion at chemical plant in Tianjin killed 173 people in 2015. Emergency responders made up the majority of the victims.

In 2013, more than 100 people were killed after a fire broke out at a poultry plant in the north-east of the country.

Narrow exits and locked gates trapped workers inside the building, survivors told Xinhua at the time.

Updated: November 22, 2022, 6:44 AM