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Friday, April 22, 2016, 20:45

Chemical storage fire spreading, no casualties reported

By chinadaily.com.cn/Xinhua
Chemical storage fire spreading, no casualties reported

A warehouse storing chemicals and fuel exploded and caught fire in the eastern Chinese city of Jingjiang on April 22, 2016. (Photo / Sina Weibo)

Nanjing - The fire at a chemical storage in East China's Jiangsu province that started on Friday morning is still spreading, but no casualties are reported, fire fighters said in the afternoon.

The fire occurred around 9 am in Jingjiang city. At around 5:30 pm, rescuers told Xinhua that of the 42 tanks in the facility, two had burned up and the fire had spread to another five.

Foul-smelling smoke is still billowing from the storage site.

More than 400 fire fighters are working to put out the blaze, and reinforcements from nearby Shanghai, Nantong, Suzhou and Wuxi cities are coming to help, according to the Fire Department under the Ministry of Public Security.

The fire department also said that the fire started from pipeline and then triggered fire at the breather valve of gasoline tank.

Among the 42 tanks at the storage, 12 are gasoline tanks, the rest 30 contain dangerous chemicals including alcohol and lipid.

Photos posted online showed dark clouds of smoke rising from the blaze from the block of storage tanks located at the Jingjiang Port.

A nearby resident surnamed Zhong told Modern Express that the flames rose to some 30 meters into the sky.

News website ThePaper.cn reported that a company called Jiangsu Deqiao Storage ran the warehouse and the company was authorized to keep hazardous chemicals.

Chemical storage fire spreading, no casualties reported

A warehouse storing chemicals and fuel exploded and caught fire in the eastern Chinese city of Jingjiang on April 22, 2016. (Photo / Sina Weibo)

Local residents have complained of foul air quality caused by the company since the warehouse started operation in July 2010, the news site added.

The local government said that the fire caused little damage to environment and activity near the site had returned to "normal".

The latest blast recalled huge explosions caused by improper storage of chemicals at the port area of the northern city of Tianjin last August, when at least 165 people were killed and fears were raised of toxic contamination.

The massive blast in Tianjin had also sparked widespread anger over non-transparency of the causes and the impacts to local environment.

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