Death Toll Now At Least 67 Killed in China Power Plant Mishap

By Ben Blanchard | BEIJING

A platform under construction at a power plant in eastern China collapsed early on Thursday, killing at least 67 people, and trapping one worker in the debris, state media said.

Deadly accidents are relatively common at industrial sites in China, where anger over lax standards is growing. Three decades of swift economic growth have been marred by incidents ranging from mining disasters to factory fires. (See links below)

Two injured workers were taken to hospital soon after the 7 a.m. accident at the plant in Fengcheng in Jiangxi province, state television said, revising down an earlier figure of five.

It put the death toll at 67, and said rescuers were trying to free one trapped worker.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has ordered an investigation, demanding that those responsible for the accident should be held accountable, the central government said.

Rescue workers search the site where a power plant’s cooling tower under construction collapsed, in Fengcheng, Jiangxi province, China, November 24, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

“Strengthen supervision and preventive measures, prevent such a major accident from happening again,” it cited Li as saying in a statement on its website.

Xinhua did not identify the type of power plant, but previous state media reports have said it was coal-powered.

China has vowed to improve safety at such facilities. President Xi Jinping has said authorities would learn the lessons paid for with blood after chemical blasts in the port city of Tianjin killed more than 170 people last year.

Shortly after those explosions, Yang Dongliang was removed from his post as director of the State Administration of Work Safety, and later charged with corruption.

During his trial, which ended on Thursday, he admitted to taking bribes and gifts worth 28.5 million yuan ($4.12 million),

state television reported. He will be sentenced later, it added.

It was not immediately possible to reach Yang’s legal representative for comment.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Related:

A large hole is seen on the ground in the Chinese port city of Tianjin Saturday. At least 100 people were killed and more than 700 injured in Wednesday’s explosions.
A large hole is seen on the ground in the Chinese port city of Tianjin Saturday. At least 100 people were killed and more than 700 injured in Wednesday’s explosions. EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
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Excavators continued to search for potential survivors on after a landslide buried buildings at an industrial park in Shenzhen, China, December 2015. Credit Andy Wong/Associated Press

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