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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Memory of explosion still haunting county

By Xu Wei  (China Daily)

16:00, March 01, 2012

Li Hongke, a 60-year-old injured in Tuesday's chemical plant explosion, is accompanied by his son and daughter at the traditional Chinese medicine hospital of Zhaoxian county, Hebei province, on Wednesday. (Feng Yongbin / China Daily)

ZHAOXIAN, Hebei - Liu Dongwei wandered outside of the gate of Keeper Chemical, where he and his wife worked until Tuesday morning. Unlike many other relatives of the dead or injured who vented their anger outside the factory gate, he looked reticent, with a dull look in his eyes.

At 9:10 am on Tuesday, Liu, a 35-year-old villager from Zhaoxian county, was in the No 3 workshop at the company when a huge blast ripped through the plant.

"Suddenly it was dark all around and I had to grab a pillar inside the plant to stay on the ground," Liu recalled, his eyes red. The pillar saved him from possible injuries from glass shards or falling rocks, which had injured many of the workers now lying in hospital.

However, the plant where his wife worked was reduced to a 1.5-meter deep ditch and the 31-year-old, mother to two sons aged 6 and 10, was nowhere to be found.

On Wednesday, as authorities announced the death toll of the chemical factory blast in Hebei had risen to 17 and the number of injured to 46, many survivors and relatives are struggling to face the aftermath.


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