NewsFlashSix still missing in Jilin Petchem blasts

14 November 2005 01:46  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Six employees of Jilin Petrochemical were missing Sunday afternoon after a series of explosions rocked the company's 70,000 tonne'year aniline complex in Jilin province, northeastern China, company sources confirmed on Monday.

Nearly 70 people were injured in the blasts, according to Chinese media reports. The cause of the explosions, which occurred at 13:45 hours on Sunday, was under investigation. A company source told ICIS news that it was still assessing damage from the explosions.

The plant is housed in Jilin Petrochemical's aromatics complex, which has 1,300 employees.

According to a statement issued by Petrochina, the parent company of Jilin Petrochemical, the fire caused by the explosions had been brought under control.

More than 10,000 people were evacuated from Jilin City following the blasts as a precaution against more explosions and severe pollution from the plant, according to Xinhua news agency.

Windows of buildings 100 to 200 metres away from the site were shattered in the explosions, Xinhua quoted witnesses as saying. Water supply and electricity were cut off to the neighbourhood following the blasts.

An official with the Jilin municipal government, who declined to identify himself, was quoted by China Daily as saying that "leaders are directing rescue work at the blast site."

Aniline is the key feedstock for making methylene di-phenylene isocyanate, used to make polyurethanes. Apart from aniline, Jilin Petrochemical also produces a combined capacity of 120,000 tonne/year of phenol and acetone.

(Florence Tan, Carol Zu and Salmon Aidan Lee contributed to this story.)

By: Prema Viswanathan
+65 6780 4359

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