Authorities in the Chinese city of Tianjin are to relocate 10 chemical plants that were found to be too close to residential areas – six months after a devastating chemical accident

killed 173 people.

State media reports said the Work Safety Bureau of Tianjin’s Binhai New Area had carried out a review of 583 chemical companies and found problems at 85 plants.

READ MORE: Punishment looms for Tianjin explosion executives

The area suffered one of China’s worst industrial accidents on August 12 when a warehouse storing combustible chemicals exploded less than 1km away from apartments – the legally required distance.

The bureau’s news office chief said on Monday that the 10 plants were close to residential areas, although he did not specify if they were within 1km of residential buildings.

He said the remaining 75 chemical plants were not near residential areas.

Chinese authorities are expected to punish five ministerial-level officials over the disaster, which left another 798 people injured. Two blasts at the warehouse also damaged 304 buildings, 12,428 cars, and 7,533 containers, resulting in 6.87 billion yuan (HK$8.14 billion) in losses.

The accident ignited fierce criticism over the storage of hazardous chemicals in the warehouse. Many have blamed lax regulations for the huge loss of lives and property.

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