Two Killed, 12 Missing After Huge Blast Rocks China Gas Plant

 

A huge explosion rocked a gas plant in central China on Friday, killing at least two people and injuring another 18, state media said.

Another twelve people were missing after the blast, said state broadcaster CCTV, which shattered windows and doors of buildings in a three-kilometre (1.9-mile) radius.

Official news agency Xinhua had earlier said “many people” were injured by the explosion, which happened at 5:50 pm local time (0950 GMT).

Xinhua said the blast occurred in the air separation unit of the Henan Coal Gas Group factory and not in the gas tank areas, citing a source in the Yima city government. All production at the plant has been stopped.

“Many windows and doors within a three-kilometre radius were shattered, and some interior doors were also blown out by the blast,” CCTV said on its Twitter-like Weibo social media account.

Local media showed amateur videos of a massive column of black smoke billowing from the factory and debris littering the roads.

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Other images showed the doors and windows of homes blown out and shuttered shops with dented metal fronts.

A bloodied man was seen being helped out of a van in a video posted on social media.

AFP could not immediately verify the authenticity of the footage.

Industrial accidents

Deadly industrial accidents are common in China, where safety regulations are often poorly enforced.

In March, a blast at a chemical plant in eastern Jiangsu province killed 78 people and injured hundreds.

The powerful explosion in the eastern city of Yancheng toppled several buildings in the industrial park, blew out windows of nearby homes and even dented metal garage doors.

Authorities detained two dozen people in connection with the March 21 blast, which prompted the government to order a nationwide inspection of chemical firms.

A week after that explosion, seven died following a blast at an electronics component manufacturer in the same province.

In November, a gas leak at a plant in the northern Chinese city of Zhangjiakou, which will host the 2022 Winter Olympics, killed 24 people and injured 21 others.

Leaked chloroethylene came in contact with a fire source causing the explosion, authorities said in a February report, which also claimed the Chinese chemical firm responsible for the accident had concealed information and misled investigators.

In 2015, China suffered one of its worst industrial accidents when giant chemical blasts in the northern port city of Tianjin killed at least 165 people.

Death Toll In China Chemical Blast Rises To 78

Fire and smoke rise at an explosion site in Yancheng in China’s eastern Jiangsu province on March 21, 2019.  STR / AFP

 

The death toll from a chemical plant explosion in China rose to 78 on Monday, with hundreds still receiving medical treatment four days after one of the country’s worst industrial accidents.

Thursday’s explosion in Yancheng city, eastern Jiangsu province razed an industrial park and blew out the windows of surrounding homes.

More than 500 people are still in the hospital, said local authorities on their official Twitter-like Weibo account.

Among them, 13 are critically injured and 66 are seriously injured, the statement said.

READ ALSO: Death Toll Rises To 64 In China Factory Blast

Out of the 28 people who were reported as missing on Saturday, 25 have been found dead and three successfully rescued said city officials.

The city government said some 89 houses were damaged beyond repair and families were resettled after those structures had been demolished.

Classes at 10 schools damaged by the blast resumed Monday morning, they added.

Local authorities are investigating the cause of the accident and said an unspecified number of people were taken into police custody on Friday.

The facility involved in the explosion belonged to Tianjiayi Chemical, a firm with 195 employees established in 2007 that mainly produces raw chemical materials including anisole, a highly flammable compound.

Tianjiayi Chemical has a history of violating environmental regulations, according to online records from Yancheng city’s environment and ecology bureau.

In 2015 and 2017, the firm was fined for violating rules on solid and water waste management.

Amid concerns of air and water pollution, the Yancheng city government has said that “pollution indicators are within the normal range” and that drinking water is “not affected”.

Authorities said Saturday they had also dammed a tributary to the nearby Xinfeng River to prevent any “outflow of sewage from the chemical industrial park.”

AFP

Over 3,000 Jobs At Stake As Honda Plans Shutting UK Plant

Workers wait for the launch of the first British built Honda Jazz family supermini to leave the production line at the Honda car plant in Swindon, western England. Max NASH / AFP

 

Honda announced Tuesday it would shut a major plant in Britain, putting 3,500 jobs at risk as the auto manufacturer became the latest Japanese firm to downsize operations as Brexit looms.

The factory in Swindon, southwest England, is Honda’s only EU plant and has produced the manufacturer’s “Civic” model for more than 24 years, with 150,000 units rolling off the line annually.

The plant will shut in 2021, Honda announced, “at the end of the current model’s production lifecycle”.

The decision “has not been taken lightly and we deeply regret how unsettling today’s announcement will be for our people,” said Katsushi Inoue, chief officer for European regional operations, in a statement.

The firm blamed “unprecedented changes in the global automotive industry” for the decision but it comes amid investment uncertainty in Britain ahead of the country’s exit from the EU.

Speaking to reporters in Tokyo, Honda president Takahiro Hachigo said: “I’d like you to understand this is not related to Brexit.”

He said it was “very regrettable” to have to close the plant but said it was the “best choice” given the need to reduce production capacity and reform its global facilities.

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The firm also announced it would stop manufacturing the Civic model in Turkey in 2021.

Honda joins fellow car giant Nissan as well as Japanese firms Sony, Panasonic and Hitachi in scaling back operations in Britain ahead of the country’s departure from the European Union.

Analysts say that while Brexit was almost certainly a factor for Honda, other reasons were likely to have played a part, including a massive EU-Japan free-trade agreement recently signed and the wider struggles of the car industry.

“Honda seems to have been preparing for this for a long time. Then Brexit happened, which might have pushed the company to make the decision now,” Seiji Sugiura, an analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute, told AFP.

Speaking ahead of the formal decision, local finance worker Sue Davis, 49, told AFP the move would be “devastating” for the area.

“I think Swindon’s finished without Honda. My ex-husband works there, has done for 20 years. He’s going to be without a job, so I just think it’s really, really bad news.”

Local MP Justin Tomlinson tweeted ahead of Tuesday’s announcement that the decision had been made “based on global trends and not Brexit as all European market production will consolidate in Japan in 2021”.

– ‘Just in time’ –

Earlier this month, Nissan axed production of the X-Trail SUV in the Brexit-backing northeast city of Sunderland, despite government assurances over the consequences from the EU exit.

Nissan Europe chairman Gianluca de Ficchy said then that the cuts were made “for business reasons” but admitted that “the continued uncertainty around the UK’s future relationship with the EU is not helping companies like ours to plan for the future.”

Auto giant Toyota also warned in February there would be no way to avoid a negative impact in the event of Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal.

Toyota executive vice-president Shigeki Tomoyama noted that the firm’s assembly plant in Burnaston, central England, which produces 600 vehicles per day, operates under the “just-in-time” system that relies on a smooth flow of components from the EU.

“We will have to halt the plant if the car parts are not brought in” from the continent, Tomoyama warned.

Japanese electronics giants Sony and Panasonic, as well as several banks, have moved some of their operations out of Britain since the 2016 referendum that set Brexit in motion.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pleaded against a no-deal Brexit in recent talks with his British and German counterparts, telling Theresa May last month: “We truly hope that a no-deal Brexit will be avoided and in fact this is the… wish of the whole world.”

And Japanese officials have reportedly become frustrated with their British counterparts as they negotiate a potential post-Brexit trade deal.

Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29, but its parliament last month rejected a draft divorce deal May negotiated with the bloc, prompting fears the country could crash out without an agreement next month.

bur-ric/sah/mtp

Fire Guts Godrej Factory In Lagos

 

Fire has gutted a factory, Godrej, located on Oba Akran Road in Ikeja axis of Lagos State.

Eyewitnesses told Channels Television that the fire started at the drivers’ unit in the factory, where women’s hair extensions and cosmetics are manufactured.

Although the cause of the fire is yet to be determined, firefighters from the lagos state fire service and officials of the State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), are however battling to put out the blaze.

It was gathered that the emergency workers are finding experienced difficulty in gaining access to some areas in the factory which are said to have been seriously affected by the fire.

See Photos Below…

 

 

France Attack: ‘Man Beheaded’ Near Lyon

lyonA man has been beheaded and at least one other person injured in a suspected Islamist attack on a factory near the French city of Lyon.

Several small explosive devices were also set off at the air products factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier.

The alleged attacker is said to have been carrying an Islamist flag, which was found nearby.

Officials said a man has been arrested in connection to the attack.

Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, has visited the scene of the attack.

At a press conference in Brussels, French  President Mr Francois Hollande confirmed that two attackers had targeted the factory.

”We have no doubt that the attack was to explode the building. The attack bears the hallmarks of a terrorist attack,” he said.

Referring to terror attacks in Paris in January, he said: “We all remember what happened before in our country”.

According to media reports, the attack occurred around 10:00 local time (08:00 GMT).

It was also said that a man was seen driving back and forth in front of the target building earlier this morning.

Another Illegal Cement Factory Uncovered By Police

Barely one week after the discovery of illegal cement factory at Zango in Ogaminana in Adavi local government area of Kogi state, another illegal cement factory has been discovered by the police command in Aku village along Lokoja-Okene road.

The factory which was located in the bush about 600 meters from main road is being used for repackaging of adulterated cement.

The state commissioner of police, Mr Mohammed Katsina who conducted ChannelsTV round the factory, said the second illegal cement factory was uncovered through the intelligence report of the security personnel who had placed surveillance in the area.

Katsina explained that the syndicate who buys Dangote cement in large quantity will divert the trucks into the bush were the original cement are mixed up with sand before they will be re-bagged for the public to buy.

Adebayo said that he came from Osun state, adding that he was linked up with Baba Ayo who brought them to the factory and trained them.

He pointed out that they were paid N30 per bag, stating that the can only afford to re-bag 40 bags per day and he informed that the business was about re-bagging of cement.

Items found at the store of the big factory are one generating set to generate power, about 25 bags of re-bagged cement with fake Dangote bags, several fake empty bags with inscription of Portland cement, Dangote Cement, Gboko Plant, Funnels and other useful materials.

Expatriate Quota Policy: Foreign domination in Nigeria will be phased out – Liborous Oshoma

 A Legal practitioner Liborous Oshoma today on Sunrise daily said in reaction to the issue of expatriate quota policy which might cut down the massive unemployment rate in Nigeria that the problem of Nigeria is not actually lack of laws and policies but a problem of implementation.