> An explosion near a chemical plant killed at least 22 people in Northern China early on Wednesday. That's according to local officials who say the blast injured at least 22 more. Video from state media showed several people hurt in a hospital. State media also cited official sources who say that fires engulfed at least 50 vehicles, and that all flames at the site have been extinguished.
The plant is located in the city of Zhangjiakou, northeast of Beijing. The 2022 Winter Olympics is set to be hosted in that city, along with the Chinese capital. Public anger over safety standards is on the rise in China. Three decades of breakneck growth have left a string of incidents from mining disasters to factory fires in its wake.
In August, 2015, 165 people were killed after a chemical warehouse explosion in the city of Tianjin, also not far from Beijing. An official report found it was caused by improperly or illegally stored hazardous materials. China has vowed to improve safety standards. But environmentalists say they fear oversight still isn't strong enough and point to a lack of transparency in how hazardous chemicals are made.