The Yuan Xiang Chemical Factory produces highly toxic chemical hardening agents and is owned by a Taiwanese investor. According to eyewitnesses, the explosion took place at about five oclock in the morning, creating a ten metre-high mushroom cloud. The two-story factory collapsed with a loud crash leaving just a partially destroyed wall in place. A fire broke out, turning the remains of the site into ashes. Stops and buildings within one hundred metres of the explosion were damaged and one store was razed to the ground.
According to a worker injured in the explosion, 19 workers were on shift at the time of the accident, all migrant workers from the provinces of Hunan and Hubei. He said that a fire broke out 20 minutes after the three minor explosions, followed by a huge blast. Two workers were killed immediately, two more died on the way to hospital and a fifth died in hospital.
(HK: Ming pao, Dongfang Ripao 09/05/01)