At least 67 killed in China power plant mishap

By Reuters/Ben Blanchard   November 24, 2016 | 06:20 pm GMT+7
At least 67 killed in China power plant mishap
Rescue workers carry out a victim at the site where a power plant's cooling tower under construction collapsed in Fengcheng, Jiangxi province, China, November 24, 2016. Photo by Reuters.

Rescuers are still struggling to free a trapped worker.

Rescuers in China were battling on Thursday to free a worker trapped after the collapse of a platform under construction at a power plant killed at least 67 people, state media said.

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.

Five injured workers were taken to hospital soon after Thursday morning's accident at the plant in Fengcheng in the eastern province of Jiangxi, the official Xinhua news agency said.

State television, which put the death toll at 67, said rescuers were trying to free one trapped worker.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has ordered an investigation, demanding that those responsible for the accident should be held accountable, the central government said.

"Strengthen supervision and preventive measures, prevent such a major accident from happening again," it cited Li as saying in a statement on its website.

Xinhua did not identify the type of power plant, but previous state media reports have said it was coal-powered.

at-least-67-killed-in-china-power-plant-mishap

Rescue workers search at the site where a power plant's cooling tower under construction collapsed in Fengcheng, Jiangxi province, China, November 24, 2016. Photo by Reuters

China has vowed to improve safety at such facilities. President Xi Jinping has said authorities would learn the lessons paid for with blood after chemical blasts in the port city of Tianjin killed more than 170 people last year.

Shortly after those explosions, Yang Dongliang was removed from his post as director of the State Administration of Work Safety, and later charged with corruption.

During his trial, which ended on Thursday, he admitted to taking bribes and gifts worth 28.5 million yuan ($4.12 million), state television reported. He will be sentenced later, it added.

It was not immediately possible to reach Yang's legal representative for comment. ($1=6.9150 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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