The blast is said to have occurred at a factory at about 09:00 (01:00 GMT) in the city’s Jiangbei District, causing some nearby buildings to collapse. State media reported that at least 30 people had been taken to local hospitals amid rescue operations. Footage showed rescuers carrying people away from an area surrounded by debris. Industrial accidents are common in China, and have prompted growing calls for better safety standards.
The government says it has been tightening site inspections and toughening punishments for safety lapses. But while the number of workplace deaths in 2017 is reported to have fallen by more than 25% on 2016 – industrial fatalities still number at least 29,000 in the year to date.