An explosion at a chemical plant in Zhejiang Province left two workers injured Saturday, February 27th. The plant was demanded be shut down by local residents years ago.
The explosion occurred at around 8:50 pm at the Yue’an Chemical Plant in Panshi township, Yueqing, blowing up a boiler and causing colorless ammonia gas to leak. Minutes later, firefighters and police arrived and sealed off the site, extinguishing the blaze that had engulfed workshops and diluting the ammonia gas with water cannons. The blast sent a segment of the boiler flying and hit the walls of Yuan’s neighbor’s house, leaving a giant hole there.
An official surnamed Jin from the Yueqing Publicity Department told the Global Times Sunday that the two injured workers have been rushed to the Third People’s Hospital for treatment, and their conditions were not life threatening.
The blast sent a segment of the boiler flying and hit the walls of Yuan’s neighbor’s house, leaving a giant hole there. Some villagers, fearing further explosions and continued danger from the harmful gas, fled to the neighboring town.
About five or six years ago, some 500 local villagers called on the township government to close the plant, complaining that the pungent gas would cause long-term harm. However, the local officials turned a blind ear to this and let the plant went on without any safety guarantee for years.
We witness more and more explosions recently than ever before. Some cases are due to the regular examination of the system. Some may result from a more complex background. As in this issue, the plant suffers from environment pollution and ought to be shut down several years ago. However, it is one of the most profitable companies in local community and contributes a great deal to local government tax income. The local officials intentionally turned a blind eye to this and choose to protect the existence of the company.
There really is a hard time in balancing the benefit, environment and the well-being of local community for government.