Death toll from China factory explosion rises to 71: Xinhua

BEIJING Sun Aug 3, 2014 9:01am EDT

Firefighter trucks are seen next to a damaged building after an explosion at a factory in Zhoushan, Jiangsu province August 2, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

Firefighter trucks are seen next to a damaged building after an explosion at a factory in Zhoushan, Jiangsu province August 2, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

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BEIJING (Reuters) - An explosion that ripped through a motor wheels factory in the eastern China province of Jiangsu killed 71 people and injured 186, the official Xinhua news agency said on Sunday.

Earlier it had said the blast, that occurred on Saturday, killed 69 and injured roughly 200.

The accident at the Zhongrong Metal Products Co Ltd plant, which makes aluminum wheels for automakers including General Motors Co <GM.N), was China’s worst industrial accident in a year.

According to Zhongrong's website, the factory made wheels that are supplied to GM and many other carmakers.

The blast at the Zhongrong workshop occurred around 7:30 a.m. on Saturday in Kunshan city, about an hour's drive from Shanghai.

A preliminary investigation suggested the blast was triggered when a flame was lit in a dust-filled room, the local government said at a news conference on Saturday, describing the incident as a serious safety breach.

(Reporting By Norihiko Shirouzu and Ran Li in Beijing; Editing by Stephen Powell)

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