Fire at factory in China kills 38 people and leaves two injured

At least 38 people were killed in a fire at a factory in China’s Anyang city in Henan province that has also left two people injured and two others missing.

Anyang’s fire and rescue department on Monday evening received information about a blaze at a trading company in Wenfeng district, reported Global Times.

The fire broke out at Kaixinda Trading Co Ltd in the city’s Wenfeng district, known to be a “high-tech zone”.

Online listings for the company said the firm is a wholesaler of a wide range of industrial goods, including what was described as specialised chemicals.

More than 200 officials from the fire department and other rescue teams were soon sent to the site and the fire was largely extinguished three hours later at about 8pm.

Police said suspects believed to be behind the fire were taken into custody on Tuesday, the report said, without specifying the number of suspects.

The cause of the fire has not been disclosed by officials yet.

China has a long history of industrial accidents due to poor safety protocols fueled by rising competition and abetted by corruption among officials.

Poor storage conditions, locked exits, and a lack of firefighting equipment are often cited as direct causes, reported the Associated Press.

A government statement said psychological counselors were on the scene for families of the victims, reported Reuters.

Industrial accidents have been common in China, often in the absence of safety protocols.

An explosion in Tianjin at a chemical warehouse killed 173 people, in one of China’s worst-ever industrial accidents, in 2015.

In 2019, 78 people were killed after an explosion at a chemical factory in Yancheng, about 260km from Shanghai.

Earlier this year in April, a building collapse on the outskirts of the provincial capital Changsha killed 53 people.

Additional reporting by agencies