China chemical factory blast toll rises to 5

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

BEIJING, China -- Chinese state media say the death toll from an explosion at a chemical factory in eastern China has risen to five.

The factory that produces adhesive materials exploded on Monday night in Lijin county in Shandong province.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Wednesday that at least five people had been confirmed dead, citing local authorities. On Monday the toll was reported as one.

Xinhua said the cause of the blast was under investigation.

The blast came nearly three weeks after massive chemical warehouse explosions in Tianjin - just 300 kilometers (190 miles) away - exposed lax enforcement of safety regulations.

The Tianjin blasts killed at least 158 people. The warehouses were closer to homes than is allowed under safety regulations, and they were storing too much hazardous material.