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Chinese starch factory explosion kills 19

Author : Amy Hollamby

02 March 2010

An explosion at a starch factory in China’s northern Hebei Province on the 24th February has left 19 dead and 49 injured after 22 hours of rescue work. The explosion ripped through a workshop in the factory in Qinhuangdao City around 4pm local time, when approximately 107 workers were in the No.4 workshop. Initial investigations indicate that a flammable dust caused the accident.

 Police have the company's vice general manager and workshop director in custody.

The privately run company, Qinhuangdau Lihua Starch Company, which employs 2,800 workers, produces mainly starch and glucose and has been ordered to halt production.

In the wake of the accident a two-month-long overhaul of work safety in the city had been launched by the city of Funing’s government.

China is not known highly for its record of work safety, as emphasis only on economic growth in the past three decades has led to widespread disregard for workplace safety.

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