China’s Lanzhou PC blast death toll rises to five; cracker shut

08 January 2010 07:42  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Fatalities at Thursday's blast at Lanzhou Petrochemicals in northwestern China reached five - all employees of the company, with one still missing, state media organisation Xinhua News reported on Friday.

Initial reports of the incident at the Beigu district of Lanzhou city in Gansu province tallied two deaths of employees, with 22 other workers injured.

The five people earlier reported as missing by China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) - Lanzhou Petchem's parent company - were found dead after the explosion that occured at around 17:30 hours on Thursday.

CNPC said in a statement on Friday that the situation had been brought under control as of 05:00 hours (local time) on Friday. There were no toxic gas emissions on site, it added.

Initial investigations showed that a leakage from a naphtha storage tank had caused the explosion, CNPC said.

Lanzhou Petchem decided to shut down its 240,000 tonne/year cracker located near the affected storage tank, said a source close to the company.

While the plant’s aromatics units were not affected, market participants were still “watching the market to see whether there is any impact on the Chinese domestic market,” said a Chinese trader.

Lanzhou Petchem was continuing normal operations at its other 460,000 tonne/year cracker in Lanzhou, said the source close to the company.

With additional reporting by Dolly Wu and Fanny Zhang

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By: Nurluqman Suratman

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