As the death toll rose to 13 in the powerful explosion July 28 at an empty plastics factory in Nanjing, the widespread and massive damage forced at least one plastics company to cease production.
Film extruder Nanjing Jinzhongda New Material Co. Ltd. said 46 of its employees were injured, with two in critical condition.
[The] factory building, equipment and offices all suffered varying degrees of damage. We will not be able to resume normal production in the near future, and the amount of financial loss is to be assessed, Jinzhongda's parent company said in a July 29 announcement.
The explosion took place on a former Nanjing factory campus that was to be demolished and redeveloped. Authorities have detained four suspects regarding the incident. Because of illegal subcontracting, the project didn't meet the safety standards and had no supervision, said a State Administration of Work Safety official.
A report from China's state-run Xinhua news agency said the blast was caused by a gas leak when workers damaged a propylene pipeline as they used excavators to retrieve items that could be sold, such as copper pipes.
Hundreds of people were injured in the blast and about 120 were hospitalized. The explosion caused serious damage to buildings and vehicles as far away from the site as 100 yards, Xinhua reported.