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Scenes of Destruction From China's Deadly Pipeline Explosion

An oil pipeline explosion in eastern China Friday has killed at least 52 people so far and hospitalized over 100.

The explosion happened in Qingdao, one of the country's largest crude oil import terminals. The blaze it created took hours to contain while city roads were ripped open, cars toppled, and apartment windows shattered.

The major pipeline belongs to Sinopec Corp, one of the largest oil companies in China. A Chinese trader tells Reuters that the explosion will lead to disrupted crude oil flows around the country. Even though local government officials reported Friday that oil had spilled into and caught fire at the port, officials at the Huangdao oil terminal say that tankers are being told to "sail away from the port as a safety precaution." CCTV News reports that the oil from the explosion has also spread across 32,000 square feet of sea water.

An estimated 18,000 nearby residents have been evacuated. Sinopec has since issued a public apology. It is the country's second deadliest industrial accident this year behind a chicken factory fire in Jilin that killed 121 people in June.


Heavy machinery are seen at work at a damaged street after Friday's explosion at a Sinopec Corp oil pipeline in Huangdao, Qingdao, Shandong Province November 24, 2013. As of Sunday afternoon, the accident has killed at least 52 people, with 11 still missing, according to Xinhua News Agency. (REUTERS/Stringer)


A worker walks past debris and new pipelines as he carries out repairing works after an oil pipeline explosion last week in Qingdao, Shandong province November 25, 2013. China has launched a broad investigation into safety at oil and gas pipelines, state media reported on Monday, as the death toll from an explosion at a Sinopec pipeline last week rose to 52. (REUTERS/China Daily)


A rescue worker walks above debris and leaked crude oil after an explosion at a Sinopec Corp oil pipeline in Huangdao, Qingdao, Shandong Province November 22, 2013. (REUTERS/Stringer) 


A woman covers her mouth as smoke rises from a street damaged by an explosion of a Sinopec Corp oil pipeline in Qingdao, Shandong province November 22, 2013. An explosion in a Sinopec Corp oil pipeline caused a blaze that took several hours to bring under control and halted operations at a major oil port, media and ship brokers said. (REUTERS/Stringer)


Oil fences to control leaked oil are seen after Friday's explosion at a Sinopec Corp oil pipeline in Huangdao, Qingdao, Shandong Province November 24, 2013. Crude pipelines have been shut-off in the eastern Chinese oil hub of Qingdao pending safety checks a day after a leak triggered a huge explosion that killed dozens of people, a refinery official and state media said on Saturday. (REUTERS/Aly Song) 


Windows of a residential building of a nearby neighborhood are seen broken after an explosion at a Sinopec Corp oil pipeline in Huangdao, Qingdao, Shandong Province November 23, 2013. (REUTERS/Mo Yat) 


A wrecked car is seen lifted onto the side of a damaged road after an explosion in a Sinopec Corp oil pipeline in Huangdao, Qingdao, Shandong Province November 22, 2013. (REUTERS/Stringer)


A policeman accompanies a woman walking on a damaged street after a pipeline explosion in Huangdao, Qingdao, Shandong Province, November 22, 2013. (REUTERS/China Daily)


A woman runs on a damaged street after a pipeline explosion in Huangdao, Qingdao, Shandong Province November 22, 2013. (REUTERS/China Daily) 

Keywords: China

Mark Byrnes is an associate editor at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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