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China courts jail 14 for mass-fatality explosion in Jiangsu

03 February 2016

On February 3, Xinhua reported that courts in east China's Jiangsu Province had sentenced 14 people to prison terms for various offences related to an explosion at a factory in the Kunshan area of Suzhou City in 2014 that left 146 dead. Sentences ranged from three to seven and half years for the crimes of causing a major labour safety accident or dereliction of duty.

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The owner and top managers of Kunshan Zhongrong Metal Products Co. Ltd., local firefighting supervisors and officials in charge of work safety supervision and environmental protection in Kunshan City were among those jailed.

The 14 stood trial at five different courts in Suzhou, including Kunshan City People's Court and Zhangjiagang City People's Court.

The blast happened on August 2, 2014, at a wheel hub polishing workshop, killing 146 and injuring another 114. Investigators found the explosion followed the ignition of metal dust in the workshop.

Direct economic loss reached 350 million yuan ($53.2 million), according to a Suzhou City official quoted by Xinhua.

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