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Explosion at Chinese agchem plant kills 17

An explosion at a pesticide plant in central China's Hebei province resulted in 17 fatalities and injured 46 people at the end of last month, according to Chinese state media. The blast occurred at a factory belonging to Chinese pesticide and chemical manufacturer, Hebei Keeperchemical Industries, in the city of Shijiazhuang. Relief efforts were reportedly hampered by an ammonia leak at the site of the explosion. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.However, the explosive material was identified as guanidine nitrate, a high-energy fuel, as well as other as yet unidentified substances. Officials from the department of environmental protection claim that the incident has not adversely affected the environment in the area.

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