Multiple warnings including a state-backed research paper had highlighted a risk of “grave accidents and casualties” in China’s chemicals sector prior to deadly blasts this month in the port city of Tianjin, Reuters reported. More than 4,000 people were killed in around 3,600 accidents involving hazardous chemicals in China between 2009 and 2014, according to Zhao Laijun, a professor at Shanghai Jiaotong University who has advised the Shanghai government on chemical facilities safety. As far back as 2009, Chemical Industry News, a local industry publication, reported that many of China’s chemical warehouses were old and likely to have safety problems, and many others were likely operating without licenses.
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