Plant col­lapse kills 67

> Chi­nese res­cuers strug­gle to free trapped work­ers

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

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

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