Four people were killed and 10 injured in a blast at a food processing factory in northern Beijing on Tuesday.

The explosion erupted just after 3pm at a factory owned by Japanese company Kyo-Nichi Todai Foods in the township of Niulanshan.

The Shunyi district government, which oversees the area, said two people died at the scene and two others died later in hospital.

Ten others were being treated but they did not have life-threatening injuries, the government said, adding that an investigation was under way.

Founded in 1987, Kyo-Nichi specialises in processing various fruit and vegetable fillings.

The factory produces about 70,000 tonnes a year for export to Japan, Southeast Asia and the United States, according to the company’s website.

The explosion comes just weeks after police in the eastern province of Jiangsu charged 44 people over a chemical plant explosion that killed 78 people in Yancheng in March.

Sixty-one public servants from the local environmental protection administrations and emergency management departments were also punished for violations of discipline and law in relation to the incident.

In December last year, three students at Beijing Jiaotong University were killed in a laboratory explosion, prompting an investigation into alleged criminal negligence by the director of the research project and the manager of the laboratory.

According to the Ministry of Emergency Management, the number of industrial accidents fell by 19.8 per cent and the number of deaths declined by 18.9 per cent in the first six months compared with the same time last year.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.



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