Explosion kills 22 in China

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No fewer than 22 people are feared dead and 22 others injured in an explosion and fire near a chemical factory on Wednesday in a northern China region.

The incident happened near Hebei Shenghua Chemical Co. in Zhangjiakou, a city some 200 kilometres (124 miles) northwest of Beijing that will host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The fire also burned 50 large and small trucks, the local propaganda department said on its Weibo social media account.

The injured were taken to hospital for treatment following the blast, which occurred at 00:41 am, according to the statement.

The charred and smoking remains of trucks and cars were scattered on a road as firefighters worked at the scene, according to photos posted on Twitter by state broadcaster CGTN.

The statement did not say whether the factory was affected by the blast or whether it took place on a road.

“On-site search and rescue work and investigation of the cause of the accident are still under way,” the propaganda department said.

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