Flooding at Aluminum Plant Causes It to Suddenly Explode in Dramatic Videos

Dramatic footage from central China reportedly captured the moment an aluminum alloy plant exploded in a giant fireball on Tuesday after severe flooding in the region caused a breach of the factory walls.

In a statement released online, the municipal government of Dengfeng, a city in Henan province, said no casualties or missing persons had been reported as of 10 a.m. local time (10 p.m. ET on Monday), following the blast at a local aluminum alloy company owned by Dengfeng Power Group Co. Ltd.

Authorities said the plant in the town of Gaocheng was shut down and its staff evacuated at around 4 a.m. after the nearby Ying River burst its banks and the surrounding walls collapsed.

The explosion happened around 6 a.m. when floodwaters reached the high-temperature solution inside the plant's alloy tank, the statement noted. Work to handle the aftermath of the incident was "ongoing in an orderly manner," it added.

Newsweek was unable to reach Dengfeng Power Group Co. Ltd. by telephone.

Heavy Rains Cause Flooding In Central China
Heavy Rains Cause Flooding In Central China
Torrential rains in Zhengzhou, Henan, China, lead to flooding on July 20, 2021.

Social media videos carried by various local news outlets were reportedly filmed on Tuesday by residents living around the aluminum alloy plant. The clips show the morning sky turning red and yellow as the explosion causes a large ball of flames in the air.

Shockwaves from the blast appear to show smoke and clouds being pushed away from the site of the violent explosion.

A resident, identified by her last name Liang, told The Beijing News: "I heard a loud explosion while still in bed this morning. It shook my windows and gave me a huge fright. I thought it couldn't have been thunder."

"I wasn't injured, but all the glass shattered, and my windows and doors broke," Liang added.

A spokesperson for the Dengfeng Emergency Management Bureau said its personnel were responding to the incident.

Tuesday's explosion happened amid continuing torrential downpour across parts of China. The provincial weather service has described recent rainfall as surpassing "historic figures."

For the three days to 11 a.m. on Tuesday, parts of Henan had recorded up to 512.2 millimeters of rainfall, including 288.3 millimeters in Dengfeng, the Henan Meteorological Bureau reported.

The weather office had issued a yellow warning for heavy rain on Monday, but this was raised to red—the higher alert level—early the following day and is expected to last through Wednesday.

A notice at 1 p.m. said torrential rains and gale-forced winds were expected for the next three hours, with up to 100 millimeters of rainfall expected in provincial capital Zhengzhou.

Heavy Rains Cause Flooding In Central China
These screen grabs from social media videos captured on July 20, 2021, reportedly show an aluminum alloy plant in Dengfeng, Henan, China, exploding after being breached by floodwaters. Weibo