Investigators say a high pressure steam pipe, which burst during a debugging process, caused an explosion which killed 21 at a Hubei power plant on Thursday, according to Xinhua.

The blast occurred at a plant still under construction in Dangyang City. In addition to the death toll, five people were injured, three critically. The high-pressure steam pipe burst, releasing steam which caused extensive damage to the plant’s main control panel and furniture in the room, investigators told Xinhua.

The blast. Photo: Voice of China.

Reporters were barred from the scene by around 30 people who attempted to stop them from taking photographs, according to the state media outlet.

It also said that there were policemen guarding intersections near the plant.

The power plant. Photo: Beijing Youth Daily.

The plant, the Madian Gangue Power Generation Company, is affiliated with the state-backed Huaqiang Chemical Group.

The blast comes as the Tianjian warehouse explosions, which occurred on August 12, 2015, marked its first anniversary. At least 165 people were killed in the explosions.

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Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.