Photo taken on April 8, 2015 shows the heavy smoke of a burning chemical plant in Zhangzhou, southeast China's Fujian Province. A fire at the chemical plant that exploded on April 6 in Fujian reignited again early Wednesday. (Xinhua/Wei Peiquan)
Another oil storage tank caught fire at a plant in east China's Fujian Province, more than 40 hours after blasts occurred there, authorities said Wednesday.
The fourth tank, which stored nearly 1,500 tonnes of hydrocarbon liquid, caught fire and exploded on Wednesday morning, said the fire department of Zhangzhou City.
On Monday evening, oil that leaked from a xylene facility caught fire and led to blasts at three nearby chemical oil tanks at Tenglong Aromatic Hydrocarbon (Zhangzhou) Co. Ltd. on the city's Gulei Peninsula.
The fire, which had been put out, started to blaze again around 7:40 p.m. on Tuesday as residue contained in one of the three storage tanks self-ignited when exposed to the air, according to the emergency response headquarters for the accident.
The fire was extinguished at around 11:40 p.m., but the same oil tank caught fire again at around 2:09 a.m. on Wednesday, according to the headquarters.
Pollution monitoring work is under way. No excessive pollutants have been detected in nearby villages or water, authorities said.
More than 170 fire engines have arrived to battle the blaze. Pungent black smoke billowed from the factory and people wore masks, said Xinhua reporters at the site.
The provincial government has evacuated more than 14,000 residents and cordoned off the plant. It has also prepared 50,000 sandbags and 654 tonnes of fire-fighting foam to battle the fire.
It was the second accident in 20 months at the same plant, which produces paraxylene (PX), an industrial chemical used for making fiber and plastics.
Analysts from Cinda Futures said the Tenglong Aromatic Hydrocarbon company has two PX production lines with designed annual capacity of 1.6 million tonnes, accounting for about 13 percent of the country's total PX production capacity.