Authorities have detained "several" suspects in wake of an explosion at a chemical plant in southwest China that left 19 dead and injured 12 others, state media said.
An explosion at a chemical plant in China kills 19 people.
Photos circulating on social media showed plumes of smoke coming out from the remains of the building.
The explosion happened at 6.30pm on Thursday in an industrial zone in Jiangan county, according to a statement issued by the Sichuan Industry Safety Supervision Administration.
China has sought to improve safety standards in its chemical manufacturing and heavy industries after a spate of industrial accidents over the years.
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The fire has since been extinguished, however, authorities are continuing to investigate the cause of the explosion.
The company that owns the building where the fire occurred is a chemical manufacturer named Hengda, according to the official Xinhua news service.
"I heard a big explosion, it was really loud and I felt the ground shaking", Liu Ping, a manager from the industrial park told China Newsweek, who was in his office at the time of the eruption.
Windows of nearby buildings were shattered by the explosion at the factory, which is surrounded by a sand and gravel plant, it added.
The note notable example in recent years being the 2015 blast that rocked the city of Tianjin, and resulted in the deaths of 165 people in the area near the port storage facility.