The Chinese press reported an explosion in a laboratory at China’s leading aerospace university, killing two people and injuring nine more on Monday. Located in Jiangsu Province, East China, Nanjing University of Aerospace is a leader among Chinese defense technology research institutes renowned for cutting-edge space technology development.
Pictures of the accident on Sunday afternoon local time in Chinese social media show dense smoke rising from the university campus. According to an official statement from the university, the explosion took place in one of the Department of Materials Science and Technology buildings, where a fire broke out afterward. The cause of the blast is still being investigated.
The college in question has five provincial-level laboratories dealing with materials for nuclear equipment, energy conversion, electrochemical storage, and testing for materials to protect against harsh environmental impacts. The laboratory in which the explosion occurred was not disclosed in the reports.
According to the near-government Chinese newspaper Global Times, Chinese chemists have called for improved laboratory safety following previous accidents, blaming systemic negligence for the accidents.
Explosion burst out in Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and cause 2 student’s life nine injuries. pic.twitter.com/f3d22nG3pO
— yebinase (@13768370874) October 24, 2021
In late March, an explosion in a laboratory at the Institute of Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing caused the death of a student. In September 2016, an explosion occurred in a laboratory at the Department of Chemistry at Tunghua University in Shanghai, seriously injuring two students. According to a court decision made at the end of September this year, the university had to pay 1.62 million yuan (nearly 80 million forints) in compensation to one of the injured. Almost three years ago, in December 2018, three students died in an explosion in the environmental engineering laboratory at Peking University of Transportation. Twelve university officials were fined for the accident. Following the incident, the Chinese authorities requested amendments regarding the production, sale, transport, and storage of dangerous chemicals,