Occupational accidents are common in China and are often caused by poor safety compliance.

A fire at a workshop in the city of Anyang in central China’s Henan province has killed at least 36 people, according to Chinese state media based on local authorities.

Two other people were injured and two remained missing, according to state media reports. The fire broke out around 4 p.m. local time (08:00 GMT) on Monday afternoon and took firefighters about four hours to extinguish.

According to a government statement, more than 200 rescuers and 60 firefighters were on the scene and psychological counselors were on the scene for the families of the victims.

The fire broke out at a factory of a small private company in the “high-tech zone” of Anyang, state media said without commenting on the company’s activities.

Online listings for the company, Kaixinda, said it was a wholesaler dealing in a wide variety of industrial goods, including what were described as specialty chemicals

China has a history of industrial accidents, often caused by poor safety compliance in an often highly competitive environment. Poor storage conditions, closed exits and lack of extinguishing agents are often cited as direct causes.

In March 2019, a explosion in a chemical plant in Yancheng, about 260 km north of Shanghai, 78 people were killed and homes destroyed within a few kilometers.

2015, a giant explosion in northern Tianjin 165 people died in a chemical warehouse in one of China’s worst-ever industrial accidents.

Henan itself has seen a number of deadly incidents leading to the arrest of local officials.

Five were among those arrested after one building collapse which killed 53 people on the outskirts of the provincial capital Changsha in April.

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By wy9m6

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