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China power plant explosion kills 21

12 August 2016

At least 21 people have been killed and five injured in an explosion at a power plant in central China. The blast happened in Dangyang city in central Hubei province when a high-pressure steam pipe exploded, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Stock image
Stock image

The State Administration of Work Safety has dispatched a team to the plant to bolster local rescue efforts and to investigate the accident, according to an official quoted by the state-owned China News Service. 

China continues to suffer from frequent industrial accidents despite a central government-ordered drive to upgrade safety in factories, power plants and mines.

The blast in Dangyang occurred on the eve of the one year anniversary of huge explosions that ripped through a warehouse in the port of Tianjin, in which more than 170 people were killed and 798 injured.

China subsequently promised to improve its safety record, with President Xi Jinping saying authorities would learn the lessons from the Tianjin disaster. Binhai New Area in Tianjin has completely overhauled 583 dangerous chemicals companies, Xinhua reported on August 11, with 68 firms ordered to shut or relocate.

A year later, excavators are still working to clear rubble from the disaster site. An official investigation in February said the blasts had been caused by hazardous materials, which were improperly and illegally stored at the site, being set alight.

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