China vows to 'plug holes' in work safety after deadly power plant accident: Xinhua

Rescue workers search at the site where a power plant's cooling tower under construction collapsed in Fengcheng, Jiangxi province, China, November 24, 2016. China Daily/via REUTERS

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China has vowed to “plug the holes” in its laws and safety standards to improve working conditions after a power plant accident in the east of the country killed 74 people earlier this week, state media reported on Saturday.

The official Xinhua news agency reported that the State Council has approved the formation of a team to be led by Yang Huanning, head of the State Administration of Work Safety, to investigate the accident.

A platform under construction collapsed on Thursday during work on a cooling tower for a coal-fired power plant in Fengcheng, Jiangxi province. State media said a tower crane fell, triggering the collapse of the entire platform. Police have since taken 13 people into custody.

Deadly accidents are relatively common at industrial sites in China, where anger over lax standards is growing. Three decades of swift economic growth have been marred by incidents ranging from mining disasters to factory fires.

“We must focus on the problems exposed by this incident, take a further step to strengthen and perfect the law, standards and regulations, plug any holes, constantly strengthen and safeguard the foundations of production safety, and raise standards of safe production,” Xinhua said, citing Yang.

The company in charge of the power plant, Jiangxi Ganneng Co, said in a stock exchange filing on Thursday it was cooperating with authorities.

Reporting by Brenda Goh