A blaze at one of China’s biggest refining and petrochemicals plants operated by Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co in Shanghai claimed one life on Saturday, the company said
The raging fire was seen engulfing part of a sprawling factory, emitting columns of thick black smoke, in a video posted on Twitter by the state-backed Shanghai Daily.
#BREAKING A fire broke out at a chemical plant of Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co LTD in #Shanghai's #Jinshan District at 4:28am today. Rescue work is ongoing. So far casualties are unknown. pic.twitter.com/4AiPxjqCKG
— Shanghai Daily (@shanghaidaily) June 18, 2022
The fire at one of China’s biggest refining and petrochemicals plants started around 4 a.m. (2000 GMT on Friday) and had been brought under control by 9 a.m. but “was difficult to handle”, state media Xinhua reported, citing fire officials.
It was expected to continue burning for some time.
The driver of a third-party transport vehicle died and a company employee suffered a minor injury, said a Sinopec representative.
He said the fire affected the ethylene glycol facility at the plant in Jinshan, a southwestern suburb of China’s financial capital.
State-owned Sinopec said on its official Weibo account it was monitoring volatile organic compounds and impact to rainwater outlets, and no impact on the surrounding water environment had been found.
Sinopec Shanghai has processing capacity for 16 million tonnes of crude oil a year and 700,000 tonnes of ethylene, according to its website.
It is building a 3.5 billion yuan ($520 million) carbon fibre project as it seeks to diversify away from refining, and focus on resin and fibres.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara