BEIJING: An oil pipeline exploded Friday in the Chinese coastal city of Qingdao, killing 22 people, authorities said, in the latest deadly industrial accident in the country.
The force of the blast ripped roads apart, turning cars over and sending thick black smoke billowing over the city, pictures showed.
One pedestrian had a leg blown off and another man’s head was crushed under a piece of concrete debris.
The pipeline, run by state-owned oil giant Sinopec, sprang a leak early Friday and exploded several hours later as workers sought to repair it, the Qingdao municipal government said in its verified account on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter.
At least 22 people were killed, it said, adding that the toll could rise further and the number of injured had yet to be confirmed.
The explosion site in the eastern province of Shandong is close to the coast and barriers had been set up to stop oil leaking into the sea, it said.
China has a dismal record on industrial safety as lax law enforcement and corruption enables business owners to cut corners or offer bribes to evade standards.
Around 28,000 people were killed or went missing in workplace accidents in the first half of this year, state media have reported. (AFP)