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Gas factory blast in China's Henan province kills two - state media

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BEIJING (Reuters) – An explosion at a gasification plant in China’s central Henan province has killed two people and seriously injured eighteen, state-run CCTV reported on Friday.

The blast occurred around 5.50pm local time (0950 GMT) in an air separation unit of the Yima plant. Production has been halted after the accident, according to a statement published by local government on the twitter-like Weibo platform.

A video broadcast by CCTV showed mushroom clouds rising from the blast site. Windows and doors of neighbourhoods within three kilometres were shattered from the blast.

Twelve people are still missing as of 9.20pm, search and rescue is still ongoing, CCTV said.

The Yima gasification plant is a unit of the state-owned Henan Coal Gas (Group) Co Ltd. The company had been listed as one of the provincial models for safe production earlier this month, according to state-backed Beijing News.

China has a history of major workplace accidents. A plant explosion that killed 78 in Jiangsu province in March triggered a nationwide safety inspection campaign.

(Reporting by Min Zhang in Beijing and Meg Shen in Hong Kong; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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