PetroChina Explosion Injures 30, Fire Under Control

More than 30 people were hurt following an explosion at PetroChina Co.’s Fushun refining complex in northwestern Liaoning province, the official Xinhua News Agency said, without citing anyone. No deaths were reported.

A fire that started after the explosion has been brought under control, Xinhua said. Mao Zefeng, PetroChina’s Beijing-based spokesman, said the country’s biggest oil and gas producer is investigating and couldn’t provide more details.

The explosion is the second in less than five months at Fushun complex, after local news website and Caijing Online reported a blast at the plant in September. The incidents trailed a series of industrial accidents last year, including a blast at an abandoned chemical factory in Nanjing city in July that killed at least six people and wounded more than 300.

Today’s explosion occurred at 9:25 a.m. local time and sparked a fire at a heavy-oil catalytic cracking unit, used to break down heavy oil products into lighter fuels including gasoline, Xinhua said.

Fushun complex is capable of processing 11.5 million metric tons of crude annually and producing 1.84 million tons of chemicals a year, according to the website of PetroChina’s parent, China National Petroleum Corp.

Last year, acid leaked from one of Zijin Mining Group Co.’s copper mines into a river in Fujian province, while an oil spill in northeastern China shut beaches and a port.