Major Fire in China in Chemical Factory that Produces Para-Xylene

Six people were hospitalized and hundreds of firefighters deployed to fight a hydrocarbon fire after an explosion at a southern China plant that produces paraxylene, a toxic chemical. It was the second explosion to hit the factory in 20 months.

Para-Xylene or p-Xylene is an aromatic hydrocarbon based on benzene with two methyl substituents on each end of the aromatic ring with the chemical formula C8H10 or C6H4(CH3)2. Para-Xylene is also known as 1,4-Dimethylbenzene.

Para-Xylene has a specific gravity of 0.86, is flammable and has a flash point of 27°C (81 °F) or and possibly as low as 25°C (77°F).

According to CAMEO Chemicals, water may be ineffective in fighting a p-Xylene fire. Fire extinguishing agents are foam, dry chemical or carbon dioxide.

When a tank, rail tank car, or tank truck is involved in a fire, evacuation recommended is 1/2-mile in all directions.

Stay informed with news from’s Emergencies Behind the Scenes Facebook page — Includes links to favorite public safety and emergency rescuers and product manufacturers and safety companies that have facebook pages. Submit your pictures or just stay up-to-date on with fire, rescue, EMS and police photo galleries. Please add your public safety photo to the wall album — go direct to the Arlington Cardinal Emergencies Behind the Scenes photos. For a list of all of The Cardinal Facebook fan pages, go to …

Police and Fire Radio Scanners.