An oil pipeline explosion in eastern China Friday has killed at least 52 people so far and hospitalized over 100.
The explosion happened in Qingdao, one of the country's largest crude oil import terminals. The blaze it created took hours to contain while city roads were ripped open, cars toppled, and apartment windows shattered.
The major pipeline belongs to Sinopec Corp, one of the largest oil companies in China. A Chinese trader tells Reuters that the explosion will lead to disrupted crude oil flows around the country. Even though local government officials reported Friday that oil had spilled into and caught fire at the port, officials at the Huangdao oil terminal say that tankers are being told to "sail away from the port as a safety precaution." CCTV News reports that the oil from the explosion has also spread across 32,000 square feet of sea water.
An estimated 18,000 nearby residents have been evacuated. Sinopec has since issued a public apology. It is the country's second deadliest industrial accident this year behind a chicken factory fire in Jilin that killed 121 people in June.