Blast at Chinese chemical plant kills 1, injures 9

An explosion at a chemical plant in eastern China killed one person and injured nine others, a state news agency reported Sunday, ten days after a similar disaster at a chemical warehouse killed 121 people.

The explosion happened just before 9 p.m. on Saturday in the city of Zibo in Shandong province, the Xinhua News Agency said. It said firefighters put out the resulting fire just before 2 a.m. on Sunday and the case was under investigation.

The report gave no details of the identity of the person killed.

Environmental authorities detected no contamination from the blast, according to Xinhua.

The facility owned by Shandong Runxing Chemical Technology Co. produced adiponitrile, which can give off toxic fumes when burned, according to Xinhua. Adiponitrile is used in making nylon and other products.

The blast follows the Aug. 12 chemical warehouse explosion in Tianjin, a port east of Beijing. At least 121 people were killed in that disaster and 54 are missing.

The cause of the Tianjin disaster is still under investigation, although state media say the warehouse — which was storing sodium cyanide and other dangerous chemicals — was located too close to residential areas and may have obtained falsified safety approvals.

The disaster raised concerns about the effectiveness of China's regulatory bodies and their ability to oversee industries in which they or officials might have vested interests.