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China chemical blast toll rises to 44

china chemical plant explosion

The death toll from an explosion at a pesticide plant in eastern China's Jiangsu province on Thursday evening has risen to 44, with 32 critically injured, the official People's Daily said on Friday.

Rescue efforts were underway, authorities in the city of Yancheng, in Jiangsu province, said in a statement. State media said authorities were investigating the cause of the blast.

Video footage and images on state media showed a fire and shattered windows in nearby buildings.

Among the injured were children at a kindergarten near the industrial park, state media said.

Public anger over safety standards has grown in China over industrial accidents ranging from mining disasters to factory fires that have marred three decades of swift economic growth.

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