Wednesday, 31 December 2014

China factory explosions kill 17 workers

A gas explosion at an auto parts factory in southern China killed 17 people and injured 33 others on Wednesday, state media reported.

Three of the injured were in critical condition, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The Southern Metropolis Daily said witnesses heard three blasts at the Fuhua Engineering and Manufacturing Co. factory in Foshan city. The blasts destroyed the facility's walls and ceiling and also damaged a nearby glass factory and other plants.

Pictures on the newspaper's website showed panels blown off the building's structure and people lying injured on the ground. Xinhua said the factory was closed for cleaning at the time of the blast.

Officials were investigating the cause of the explosion, it said.

The tragedy in Foshan came just hours after the Chinese government revealed that the death toll in the country’s worst industrial accident in 2014 — an explosion at another auto parts factory in August — was double the number originally reported.

On Tuesday night, the State Administration of Work Safety said that at least 146 workers at Kunshan Zhongrong Metal Products in eastern Jiangsu province had died in the incident, compared with initial reports of 75 deaths.

The government added that it had sacked the party secretary and mayor in Kunshan, an important export hub near Shanghai, and also sanctioned a deputy provincial governor over the accident in which a room filled with metal dust exploded.

Another 18 people, including Kunshan Zhongrong’s chairman, will be prosecuted and could receive severe punishments.

On December 27, a court in the northeastern Jilin province convicted more than a dozen executives and officials for alleged lapses that contributed to a poultry plant fire that claimed 121 lives in June 2013.

In November, two coal mine disasters and a fire at a food processing plant claimed the lives of another 55 Chinese workers.

Wednesday 31 December 2014


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