Officials quoted by Reuters said: "At present, on-site rescue is still going on". A statement on its official social media account said the explosion originated at the Tianjiayi Chemical production facility and its cause was under investigation.
Around the time of the explosion, China's natural disaster administration reported a 2.2-magnitude tremor in Lianyungang, a city near the Yancheng blast.
"Workers were trapped after buildings were knocked down by the shock wave, which also shattered windows of nearby homes", reported state-run news agency Xinhua. Windows in buildings as far as 6 kilometres (4 miles) away were blown out by the force of the blast, which caused a magnitude 2.2 seismic shock. The blast is said to have been triggered by a fire at a fertilizer plant at the facility.
A fire broke out at the factory after the explosion. "Witnesses said many workers were seen running out of the factory covered in blood after the blast". Medical, fire, and emergency staff have been sent to the area, while the injured were sent to hospital for treatment.
In November, at least 22 people were killed and scores of vehicles destroyed in an explosion outside a chemical plant in the northeastern city of Zhangjiakou, which will host competitions in the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Industrial accidents are common in China due to poorly enforced safety regulations, and authorities have pledged to improve standards.
Dozens of people were injured in the explosion, the latest incident to put a spotlight on China's chequered industrial safety record.
An explosion occurred Thursday at Chenjiagang Tianjiayi Chemical Plant in Jiangsu Province, China.
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