World News

China chemical plant explosion kills 5, injures 32

BEIJING (Reuters) - An explosion and fire at a chemical plant in Kunming, capital of southwestern Yunnan Province, killed five people, injured 32 and left two others missing on Sunday, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The explosion at a sulfuric acid plant under the state-run Yuntianhua International Chemical Industry Co Ltd early on Sunday set off a large fire that burned for four hours, the news agency said.

But it cited the city’s environmental protection bureau as saying air quality in neighboring areas was not affected.

A city official told Xinhua the injured were hospitalized, with several in critical condition and most of the others in stable condition.

Rescuers held out little chance that the two missing could have survived, Xinhua said.

Investigators said sulfur powder exploded and caused the fire when workers were loading the chemical in front of a store house. City officials called for a thorough investigation.

Reporting by Ken Wills; Editing by Jerry Norton