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Explosion in NE China steel plant kills 13

05 March 2012

A sand mould exploded on February 20 at a steel-casting workshop owned by Angang Heavy Machinery in the city of Anshan, Lioning Province, according to Xinhua. The mould, which was about 10 metres in diameter, exploded, with sand and concrete bursting out as workers were placing a steel ring around it, a surviving worker told the agency.

The steel mould explosion killed 13 and injured 17
The steel mould explosion killed 13 and injured 17

Observers said the accident could have occurred because the mould had not fully solidified. When the molten steel was poured into the water, the subsequent release of steam could have caused the blast.

Ten bodies were found early the day after the explosion and three more later in the day. Another 17 people were injured and received medical treatment in hospital. Six of the injured are in critical condition, with two suffering severe burns over most of their bodies.

Fire crews were called in to deal with the subsequent fire. Work safety authorities are investigating the cause of the accident.

This is not the first serious accident to take place at a steel factory in Liaoning. In April 2007, 32 workers were killed and six others injured after a steel ladle used for pouring molten steel sheared off from the iron rail linking it to the blast furnace in Qinghe Special Steel Corporation in Tieling.

Huang Yi, spokesman of the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS), told the People's Daily that the national production safety situation continues to improve but remains grave. He asid that 2011 saw 15,655 accidents with 3,980 people killed, a slight drop on 2010. He added that as China is still undergoing a rapid increase in industrialisation and urbanisation, production safety accidents were still likely to happen.

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