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Second China factory explosion in month kills seven

01 April 2019

An explosion at an automotive parts factory in eastern China on March 31 left seven dead and five others injured, according to local reports. The blast happened in an outdoor area of the premises of Kunshan Waffer Technology in the Kunshan bonded zone in Jiangsu province, the local government said.

Representative image - Shutterstock
Representative image - Shutterstock

According to reports, the source of the explosion was a container in a yard used for storing scrap metal, and the fire spread to nearby production facilities. Five people were taken to hospital with injuries, one of them in critical condition.

An investigation has been launched and hundreds of residents and factory workers have been evacuated from the area.

Kunshan Waffer Technology is a subsidiary of Taiwan's Waffer Technology.

The industrial accident is the second in Jiangsu in just 10 days. On March 21, an explosion at the Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical plant in the city of Yancheng left at least 78 people dead and injured more than 600.

An investigation team from the State Council, China’s cabinet, made a preliminary conclusion on the nature of the Yancheng accident last week, blaming local officials who were “ignorant of their work” for allowing the company to continue its operations despite multiple safety violations. Executives from the plant have been taken into police custody.

There have been other deadly blasts in Kunshan, an industrial city near Shanghai. In August 2014, an explosion at an auto parts factory claimed 146 lives and injured 114 others. The local work safety authority said the factory, Zhongrong Metal Production, had ignored several warnings about the potential for an explosion. Following the blast, 14 company executives and local government officials were jailed for between three and seven years, while 35 other officials were disciplined and demoted.

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