China's Wanhua Chemical Group Co. Ltd. announced that an explosion occurred on Sept 20 at its 600,000-metric-ton-per-annum MDI facility in Yantai, Shandong province, and caused four deaths and four injuries.
The publicly traded company said in a statement that the eight people were immediately sent to the hospital after the incident, which happened at 17:22 local time during a shutdown of the plant for regular maintenance.
On the same day, a report released by Greenpeace said 199 people died in accidents related to the production, storage and transportation of chemicals in China during the first eight months of this year. More than 400 were injured.
Explosions were the cause of two of five deaths, according to the report.
The Greenpeace report also highlighted that many chemical plants in China are located in densely populated areas and near important natural resources.
Wanhua said the Sept 20 explosion did not cause any pollution in the nearby environment or secondary disasters. It is currently investigating the cause of the explosion.
The plant accounts for 8 percent of the global supply of MDI, a Bloomberg report quoted Nomura Securities International analyst Aleksey Yefremov as saying. Wanhua is the largest MDI producer in the world followed by BASF SE, Covestro AG, Huntsman and Dow Chemical Co.