China chemical blast kills 16, dozens missing

AP News
Posted: Feb 28, 2012 10:51 PM

Fears of new blasts have halted rescue efforts at a north China chemical plant where an explosion killed at least 16 people, injured more than 40 and left dozens more missing.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Wednesday that about 100 people were working at the Hebei Zhaoxian Keeper Chemical Co. plant in Hebei province's Zhaoxian county when Tuesday's blast flattened a workshop.

Xinhua quoted Zhaoxian deputy chief Wu Haijiang as saying that rescue work had been stopped due to the risk of explosions.

China's State Administration of Work Safety said on its website that the blast happened during the production of a high-energy fuel and propellant, guanidine nitrate.