China chemical blast toll increases to 64

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Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Message to Compatriots in Taiwan at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. Xi urged both sides to reach an early consensus on the unification of China and Taiwan and not leave the issue for future generations. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)

 The death toll from an explosion in a chemical plant in China’s Jiangsu province increased to 64 on Saturday while 28 people still remain missing, authorities said.

Of the 64 victims, 26 have been identified, Cao Lubao, the Mayor of Yancheng city, said at a press conference.

One person was rescued on Saturday morning, Xinhua news agency quoted Cao as saying.

The blast has left 94 people with severe injuries, including 21 in critical conditions.

The explosion took place at 2,48 p.m. on Thursday following a fire that broke out in the plant, owned by Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Co. Ltd., in a chemical industrial park in Xiangshui county in Yancheng.

China’s earthquake administration reported a tremor equivalent to 2.2-magnitude at the time of the blast.

The last big accident in China was the August 2015 Tianjin explosion, which killed more than 160 people and injured nearly 1,000.