On the afternoon of November 21, a fire broke out at a factory in Anyang city, Henan province, central China. The fire burned for seven hours before being extinguished. As of 10 a.m. on November 22, the search and rescue work ended and least 38 people died.
Xinhua News Agency reported on the morning of November 22 that at around 4 p.m. on November 21, a fire broke out in the factory area of Kaixin Trading Company, in Wenfeng District. So far the accident has caused 38 deaths, 2 missing, and 2 minor injuries.
On November 22, a businesswoman near the incident said her father-in-law and mother-in-law were killed in the fire. Her shop is not far from the scene. Her in laws worked in the factory and the family is quite distraught. The factory makes undergarments.
Another businessman said, he saw thick smoke coming out of the factory, so he wanted to come closer to check, but the area around the scene was locked down. At that time, the fire was very big, many fire trucks were dispatched to the scene to deal with it.
The fire in Anyang was extremely fierce. In some videos, it can be seen that the fire lit up the sky and smoke billowed up high, engulfing the entire factory area. There was a light rain but the fire continued to burn fiercely.
According to the report, at the time of the incident, 63 fire trucks and 240 firefighters were dispatched to the scene. By 8 p.m., the fire was basically under control.
Caixin newspaper reported that the fire on November 22 at Kaixin Trading Company in Anyang city had been completely extinguished at 11:00 p.m.
Witnesses at the scene said the fire burned for eight hours from 4 p.m to midnight.
Netizens familiar with the matter revealed that the factory, is currently processing cotton-padded clothing, which contains a lot of combustible materials so the fire spread quickly. Most of the workers working are women from the the city and surrounding villages.
A witness said: “I just saw thick smoke rising into the sky and didn’t dare go near to see it.”
Wu Bin, a resident who lives near the factory, said that his mother is over 70 years old this year and had only worked in the factory area for about 10 days. After the accident, he was unable to contact some of his mother’s colleagues.
After the fire, the phrase “Factory fire in Anyang” appeared on Weibo’s hot searches, but a netizen suspected that someone was hiding this information, saying, “Can you guys stop restricting hot search? I don’t believe the popularity of this is lower than the entertainment industry, you blatantly squeezing interactions on such a hot search?”
Many netizens wondered why so many people died.
One commented, “The fire in that factory is not a big explosion like the chemical plant. Why were there so many deaths? Do Henan residents know the real cause?”
According to information from Tianyancha, in the past three years of corporate information disclosures, the number of social security employees of Kaixin Trading Company is zero. In 2020, the company was fined 81,900 yuan (about $11,500) for illegally occupying land.
It is known that Kaixin Trading Company was built five or six years ago.
As for the cause of the fire, netizens speculated that someone had set the fire on purpose, but the reason is unknown. The police have arrested the suspects. According to a preliminary assessment, the accident was caused by illegal welding operations by factory employees. Some analysts pointed out that, after the fire, Chinese officials were quick to report that the suspects were in custody.