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Chemical Blast Death Toll Rises to 16, Dozens Still Missing

Wed, 02/29/2012 - 4:42am
the Asspociated Press

BEIJING (AP) — Fears of new blasts have halted rescue efforts at a north China chemical plant where an explosion killed at least 16 people, injured more than 40 and left dozens more missing.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Wednesday that about 100 people were working at the Hebei Zhaoxian Keeper Chemical Co. plant in Hebei province's Zhaoxian county when Tuesday's blast flattened a workshop.

Xinhua quoted Zhaoxian deputy chief Wu Haijiang as saying that rescue work had been stopped due to the risk of explosions.

China's State Administration of Work Safety said on its website that the blast happened during the production of a high-energy fuel and propellant, guanidine nitrate.

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