At least one person has been killed in a fire at a central chemical plant in the Chinese city of Shanghai.
They broke down at one of the country’s largest refining and petrochemical plants at around 04:00 on Saturday (20:00 GMT).
Flames could be seen in parts of the vast complex, and thick columns of black smoke emanated from the sky. Shanghai is China’s economic hub and recently emerged from a strict two-month-long pandemic lockdown.
The cause of the fire affecting the ethylene glycol facility is still unclear.
Sinopec, the state-run company that operates the plant in the suburb of Jinshan, said the driver of a transport vehicle was killed, and an employee of the company was injured.
According to local media reports, residents living 6 km (four miles) away reported an explosion. Shanghai’s fire department sent more than 500 personnel to the scene.
State media say the fire has now been brought under control, but the fire is being put out protectively.
Drone footage on social media shows the sky darkening with smoke over China’s most populous city, Shanghai.
Sinopec said it monitors the environmental impact and that no damage to the surrounding water environment has been recorded. The Ministry of Emergency Management has sent an expert team to the spot.
Omicron was under a strict lockdown imposed by Shanghai authorities to contain the coronavirus outbreak, driven by the spread of the variant.
For two months, residents in the global trade hub were forbidden from leaving their homes – closing factories with far-reaching consequences for both the local economy and the global supply chain.
The government follows a “zero COVID” policy that requires all people who have caught the virus to be quarantined. New rules have now been introduced for residents to show a green health code on their smartphones to leave their residential premises and enter most places.