News agencies are reporting that an explosion at a coal-fired power plant in Dangyang, a city in central China, has killed at least 21 people and injured five others, three seriously.

The event is said to have occurred around 3:20 p.m. local time on August 11. The facility—designed to generate thermal power and sell slag, ash, and petroleum products—is owned by Madian Gangue Power Generation Co. Some sources suggested that the plant is in the process of being commissioned and was undergoing testing at the time of the incident.

It has been difficult to establish specifics about the blast. An investigation is said to still be in progress. Initial reports identified the plant as a chemical facility, but it was later determined to be the coal power plant site. Although several sources have suggested that the event was triggered when “a high-pressure steam pipe exploded,” the number of casualties, ensuing fire, and volume of black smoke shown in pictures posted on Twitter that are said to be of the event, suggest that something much more explosive initiated the incident.


Aaron Larson, associate editor (@AaronL_Power, @POWERmagazine)