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Chinese poultry plant fire death toll rises above 100

03 June 2013

Explosions and fire destroyed parts of the Baoyuanfeng Poultry Plant in Jilin Province, northeast China, killing at least 119 people in one of the country’s worst factory accidents in recent years. According to Xinhua, residents in the town of Mishazi heard blasts at early on June 3, but it was unclear whether the fire broke out before or after the explosions.

An electrical spark triggered the fire, according to state-run CCTV, although police and officials at the plant are investigating the cause of the accident. One worker interviewed by local media said some of the fire exits in the plant were locked.

Jilin Baoyuanfeng Poultry has more than 1,200 employees, according to Xinhua, and around 300 were in the building when the fire broke out. Only around 100 managed to escape, suggesting the death toll could rise further.

Police evacuated residents near the plant, fearing more explosions from gas stored there, the China News Service reported. Dozens of factory workers were taken to hospital, mostly for breathing difficulties from inhaling toxic gases.

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