A huge fire broke out Saturday at the headquarters of a petrochemical facility in southeast Shanghai and at least one person died.
The fire started around at 4 a.m. at an ethylene glycol processing unit owned by Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical, a state-owned oil company whose headquarters are in an industrial park in the suburban Jinshan district.
Firefighters were able to put the blaze under control, the company said in a statement posted to its Chinese social media account. Sinopec said a “third-party driver” had died in the disaster and that one of its employees was injured.
“The specific cause is under further investigation,” the company said.
Videos on social media of the scene showed raging fires and huge plumes of dark smoke rising from what appeared to be part of Sinopec facility, which is separated from the district’s residential area.
Some residents living near the facility fled their buildings after hearing loud bangs from the explosion and described a pungent smell from a few miles away, according to a local media report.
The company said that the blaze had been “effectively controlled” but that it was carrying out “protective burning.”
Sinopec said it was monitoring the area for volatile organic compounds and had yet to detect any harmful impact on local water supplies.