China's top national aerospace suffered a tragedy on Oct. 24, and it resulted in two fatalities and nine injuries.
The school's laboratory exploded before 4pm at the Jiangjun Road campus of the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, which is known as the cradle of China's cutting-edge aerospace technology.
China's Aerospace Laboratory Exploded
The city's fire service said on its official Weibo page that two people died and nine people were injured because of what happened. The reason for the explosion is under investigation, and rescue work has ended, according to South China Morning Post.
Videos posted online showed clouds of smoke coming from the campus, and photographs of a man whose skin was covered in severe burns and ashes were also shown online.
The university later confirmed that the explosion happened at the College of Material Science and Technology and stated that it had also caused a fire.
The college has five key laboratories, which specialize in energy conversion, nuclear energy equipment materials, materials preparation, and protection from harsh environments, and electrochemical storage.
Also, it is not known which laboratory was involved, and no further information about the dead and injured has been made available.
The university is China's top defense research institution and is home to three state-level laboratories, two of which specialize in helicopter technology. The institution was identified by Stanford University's think tank, the Hoover Institution, as one of the "Seven Sons of National Defense."
The said institutions, which support China's defense research and industrial base and promote or execute military-civil fusion policies, channels the civilian research into military applications, according to Asia News Today.
Explosion at Beijing University
In 2018, three students were killed in an explosion caused by sewage treatment experiments in a laboratory at Beijing Jiaotong University, according to Sup China.
Beijing's fire department said that the accident was massive as it caused windows to shatter, and it left the building looking like a blackened shell. The accident happened in the early morning of December 18, 2018, and around 30 fire trucks were immediately sent to the scene, and it took almost an hour to get the fire under control. The local authorities have launched a full investigation into the cause of the accident.
The Beijing fire department said that the explosion at the experimental site happened during a scientific research experiment on wastewater treatment in the Environmental Engineering Laboratory. The university is located in the western part of Beijing.
A video posted by People's Daily, a state-run newspaper, showed blown-out windows and blackened buildings around a courtyard, with trees and ground all covered in firefighting foam to stop the fire from spreading further.
The images went viral on social media, and it showed plumes of dark smoke billowing from low-rise buildings as firefighters fought to contain the fire.
The students of the university could be seen wearing face masks and complaining about the acrid smell.
Industrial accidents are very common in China, where safety regulations are usually poorly enforced.
In November 2018, a gas leak caused the explosion of a truck carrying combustible chemicals near the entrance of a chemical factory in the northern Chinese of Zhangjiakou. It killed 23 people and injured 22.
China has been stepping up its game in the space race these past few years, which explains the constant experiments. In 2020, China became the third country to bring home Lunar samples, and China's Mars rover had hit a milestone in 2020 after it recorded a 100 million travel mark.
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Written by Sophie Webster