China factory fire hidden by thick smog: media

January 15, 2013

A factory fire in eastern China went unnoticed for three hours because of the thick smog that blanketed large stretches of the country this week, state media said Tuesday.

After firefighters in Zhejiang province were finally alerted to the blaze in the early hours of Monday they took 10 hours to extinguish the flames, which destroyed a large amount of furniture, the said.

"Because of the thick fog pervading the air at the time, the initial smoke and flames produced by the fire took an unexpected almost three hours to be discovered by nearby residents," Xinhua said.

The unusually dense across much of China this week reached levels dangerous to human health and prompted of the nation's breakneck development.

At the height of the smog authorities in the capital said readings for PM2.5—particles small enough to penetrate the lungs—hit 993 micrograms per cubic metre, almost 40 times the 's safe limit.

The reduced visibility contributed to a 20-car pileup elsewhere in Zhejiang on Tuesday that left two people dead and eight injured, Xinhua said in a separate report, and forced flights in Beijing to be cancelled.

Explore further: Beijing choked by third day of hazardous smog (Update 2)

Related Stories

'Off the scale' smog grounds flights in Beijing

January 10, 2012

More than 150 flights to and from Beijing were cancelled or delayed on Tuesday as a thick cloud of acrid smog shrouded the city, with US figures saying the pollution was so bad it was off the scale.

Smog and fog ground hundreds of Beijing flights

March 17, 2012

More than 400 flights to and from Beijing airport, including around 35 international services, were cancelled or delayed on Saturday due to thick fog and strong air pollution covering the city.

Hundreds of flights cancelled due to Beijing smog

December 5, 2011

Beijing authorities cancelled hundreds of flights and shut motorways on Monday as thick smog descended on the Chinese capital, reducing visibility at one of the world's busiest airports.

Chinese go online to vent anger over pollution

December 6, 2011

Millions of Chinese went online Tuesday to vent their anger over the thick smog that has blanketed Beijing in recent days, raising health fears and causing hundreds of flights to be cancelled.

Recommended for you

Land-based microbes may be invading and harming coral reefs

March 24, 2017

A new study suggests that coral reefs—already under existential threat from global warming—may be undergoing further damage from invading bacteria and fungi coming from land-based sources, such as outfall from sewage ...

Managing bushfires for safety and biodiversity

March 24, 2017

People have long used planned fires as a tool to open up access to hunting grounds, to encourage new plant growth, and to cultivate plants for cooking, heating and spiritual purposes.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

rubberman
2.5 / 5 (2) Jan 16, 2013
Disturbing is too mild of a term for the entire content of this report. How the f**k can you live next door to a fire that takes 10 hours to extinguish, and have smog be so bad that you don't even know the fire is there?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.