Factory blast in east China kills at least 65, state TV
Saturday, August 02, 2014 - 00:34
Aug.2- A factory blast in eastern China kills at least 65 people, and injures more than 120 others, state media reports. Rough Cut (No Reporter Narration).
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PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL THAT WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: An explosion killed at least 65 people and injured more than 120 at a factory in China that makes wheels for U.S. carmakers, including General Motors, state media said, as the country suffered its worst industrial accident in a year.
Chinese media cited the government as saying that the blast in the wealthy eastern province of Jiangsu occurred around 7:30 a.m. on Saturday (August 2) (2330GMT on Friday, August 1) in Kunshan city, after an explosion ripped through a workshop that polishes wheel hubs.
A preliminary investigation suggested that the explosion at Kunshan Zhongrong Metal Products Co Ltd. was caused by negligence after a flame was lit in a dust-filled room, state news agency Xinhua said.
Two officials from Kunshan Zhongrong have been held by authorities, Xinhua said, citing an unnamed government source.
At the workshop where the blast occurred, state television CCTV showed wrecked walls and clothes scattered on the floor of the factory compound.
CCTV said authorities had set up four emergency blood-donation centres in Kunshan to assist casualties, some of whom will be taken to Shanghai and other nearby cities for treatment later on Saturday.
By early afternoon, the police had cordoned off access to the ageing factory. Authorities had also cleaned up the factory's exterior, and a crowd of bystanders and row of fire-trucks parked in the compound were the only outward signs of the calamity that had occurred hours earlier.
China, the world's second-largest economy, has a poor record on workplace safety. Workers are often poorly trained or ill-equipped to protect themselves from industrial accidents.
The Chinese government said on its website that Wang Yong, China's state councillor, was heading to the site on the requests of President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang as a representative of Beijing.
Kunshan Zhongrong could not be reached for a comment. Its website said the firm is wholly owned by an unidentified foreign investor, employs 450 workers and counts General Motors and other U.S. companies as clients.
CCTV said that there more than 200 workers at the site when the explosion struck, and 45 died immediately.
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