Plant collapse kills 67
> Chinese rescuers struggle to free trapped workers
BEIJING: At least 67 people were killed when part of a power station under construction in China collapsed yesterday, local media reported, the latest industrial accident in a country with a dismal safety record.
A cooling tower platform plunged to the ground in the early hours, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Pictures of the scene in Fengcheng, in the central province of Jiangxi, showed a grey mass of concrete slabs, steel girders and twisted metal splayed in a heap on the ground inside a large round structure.
Hard-hatted rescue workers in neon jumpsuits carried bodies out from the site on stretchers wrapped in orange sheeting.
Rescue work was underway, and a total of 32 firetrucks and 212 military personnel had been deployed to the scene, the Jiangxi provincial fire department said on a verified social media account.
State television, which put the death toll at 67, said rescuers were trying to free one trapped worker.
Five injured workers were taken to hospital soon after the accident, Xinhua said.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has ordered an investigation, demanding that those responsible for the accident should be held accountable, the central government said.
The construction of two 1,000megawatt coal-fired power units at the Ganneng Fengcheng power station began last July and were expected to be completed by early 2018, the local Yichun city government said on a verified social media account last year.
The expansion project cost a total of 7.67 billion yuan (RM4.8 billion), it added.
Industrial accidents are common in China, where safety standards are often laxly enforced.
In August, a pipeline explosion at a coal-fired power plant in the neighbouring province of Hubei killed 21.
Earlier this summer, over 130 people were taken to hospital after chemicals leaked from a plant in eastern China.
In April, a chemical fire burned for 16 hours in the coastal province of Jiangsu after an explosion at a facility storing chemicals and fuel, requiring 400 firefighters to quell the flames. – Agencies