"As of now, 19 people died and 172 people are being treated in hospitals as a result of the incident", the city official said at a press conference.
Video footage of the explosion on the internet shows forceful shock waves throwing vehicles up in the air and reaching nearby residential houses. Many people are feared to be under the rubble. A big portion of the road can be seen covered with thick black smog and scattered fire hotbeds.
🇨🇳[FLASH] - Un camion-citerne a explosé sur une autoroute proche de #Wenling, dans l'est de la #Chine. Des habitants et des usines se sont effondrées à cause de la déflagration. Le dernier bilan fait état de 10 morts et 117 blessés. #Accident (@Vincentfoochow) pic.twitter.com/BCks1Q7QV8— La Plume Libre (@LPLdirect) June 13, 2020
Local authorities have reportedly deployed 34 fire engines and 138 commanders to tackle the blaze as search and rescue operations continue.
On the evening of Saturday, a tanker caught fire and exploded while on the G15 highway, causing a massive fire and hitting a nearby factory facility, thus triggering a second explosion.