STORY: Roaring fire was seen engulfing part of a sprawling factory, emitting columns of thick black smoke, in a video posted on Twitter by the state-backed Shanghai Daily.
The fire at one of China's biggest refining and petrochemicals plants started around 4 a.m. (2000 GMT on Friday) and had been brought under control by 9 a.m. but "was difficult to handle", state media Xinhua reported, citing fire officials.
It was expected to continue burning for some time.
The driver of a third-party transport vehicle died and a company employee suffered a minor injury, said a Sinopec representative.
He said the fire affected the ethylene glycol facility at the plant in Jinshan, a southwestern suburb of China's financial capital.
State-owned Sinopec said on its official Weibo account it was monitoring volatile organic compounds and impact to rainwater outlets, and no impact on the surrounding water environment had been found.