China plant suffers two explosions

Chinese investigators report finding no contamination following two explosions at a Shandong Yanggu Zhongshi Pharmaceutical factory in Liaocheng City, about 600 miles northwest of Shanghai. Seven people suffered injuries, the worst of which appears to be a broken leg.

The first explosion took place at 5:40 a.m. local time Wednesday. The second occurred at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, producing "a large fireball and thick smoke," according to local press reports. Firefighters still tending the first explosion were waiting for it to burn out when the second blast occurred. The chemical aniline fueled the second explosion.

Air quality tests for benzene, xylene, amine and hydrogen sulfide yielded findings within acceptable levels as far as a half mile from the plant. Some 8,000 people had been evacuated from nearby villages.

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