NEWS: China
Industrial wholesale fire kills at least 38 in central China

A fire at a chem­i­cal and oth­er indus­tri­al prod­ucts com­pa­ny in cen­tral Chi­na’s Henan province has killed 38 people.

Some munic­i­pal­i­ties in Anyang issued a state­ment say­ing two oth­er peo­ple were injured.

The Wen­bo dis­trict gov­ern­ment said the fire broke out late Mon­day after­noon and that fire­fight­ers took about three and a half hours to extin­guish it.

Video footage from state broad­cast­er CCTV showed flames and smoke ris­ing from what appeared to be a two-sto­ry build­ing engulfed in flames.

Footage from the night shows fire­fight­ers using extend­ed lad­ders and lights to exam­ine scars and skeletons.

A fire at a chem­i­cal and indus­tri­al prod­ucts com­pa­ny in cen­tral Chi­na’s Henan province has killed 36 people.

The caus­es of fires and the deaths of many work­ers are unknown, but Chi­na has a his­to­ry of indus­tri­al acci­dents caused by a lack of atten­tion to safe­ty mea­sures, inten­si­fy­ing com­pe­ti­tion, and cor­rupt officials.

Poor stor­age con­di­tions, locked exits, and lack of fire extin­guish­ing equip­ment are often cit­ed as direct causes.

An online list­ing for a com­pa­ny called Kaixin­da described it as a whole­saler of a wide range of indus­tri­al prod­ucts, includ­ing what it described as spe­cial­ty chemicals.

In 2015, a large explo­sion at a chem­i­cal ware­house in the north­ern port city of Tian­jin killed 173 peo­ple, most­ly fire­fight­ers and police officers.

False reg­is­tra­tions and stor­age of chem­i­cals were uncov­ered, and local offi­cials were found to be com­plic­it in dis­tract­ing them from poten­tial threats.

More than 200 search and res­cue work­ers and 60 fire­fight­ers rushed to the Henan fire.

Dense­ly pop­u­lat­ed and eco­nom­i­cal­ly impor­tant states have seen count­less dead­ly inci­dents that have led to the arrest of local officials.

Five peo­ple were detained after a build­ing col­lapse killed 53 peo­ple on the out­skirts of the provin­cial cap­i­tal Chang­sha in April.

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