The first explosion occurred at about 6 a.m. Tuesday in Yizhou city in Guangxi province and the blasts continued until 1 p.m. Fire spread over a nearly 108,000-square-foot (10,000-square-meter) area, Xinhua said, citing an unidentified firefighter in the rescue operation.
The government evacuated 11,500 residents in case of further blasts and chemical leaks.
Poisonous gases, mainly sulfurated hydrogen and carbon monoxide, were still coming from the site, Ge Xianmin, Guangxi’s toxic substances emergency center director, was quoted as saying.
Update: Xinhua is reporting that the death toll is now 20. Video from AP: