China vows to ‘plug holes’ in work safety after deadly power plant accident — Death toll hits 74 — Police take 13 people into custody

China has vowed to “plug the holes” in its laws and safety standards to improve working conditions after a power plant accident in the east of the country killed 74 people earlier this week, state media reported on Saturday.

The official Xinhua news agency reported that the State Council has approved the formation of a team to be led by Yang Huanning, head of the State Administration of Work Safety, to investigate the accident.

A platform under construction collapsed on Thursday during work on a cooling tower for a coal-fired power plant in Fengcheng, Jiangxi province. State media said a tower crane fell, triggering the collapse of the entire platform. Police have since taken 13 people into custody.

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.

“We must focus on the problems exposed by this incident, take a further step to strengthen and perfect the law, standards and regulations, plug any holes, constantly strengthen and safeguard the foundations of production safety, and raise standards of safe production,” Xinhua said, citing Yang.

The company in charge of the power plant, Jiangxi Ganneng Co, said in a stock exchange filing on Thursday it was cooperating with authorities.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh)

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Reuters

Police took 13 people into custody as the death toll in the collapse of a platform under construction at a power plant in eastern China rose to 74, with two others injured, state media said on Friday.

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.

State news agency Xinhua said 68 of the 74 dead have been identified so far, with victims ranging in age from 23 to 53.

The accident happened on Thursday morning in Fengcheng, in Jiangxi province, during work on a cooling tower for the coal-fired power plant.

The official China Daily newspaper said the accident happened when a tower crane collapsed, triggering the collapse of the entire construction platform as the night shift was being relieved by the morning shift.

“We will conduct a serious investigation into the cause of the accident and hold those who are responsible accountable,” Jiangxi vice governor Li Yihuang was quoted as saying.

The company in charge of the plant, Jiangxi Ganneng Co, said in a stock exchange filing on Thursday it was cooperating with authorities.

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

The China Daily cited a company statement from September as saying it had started a 100-day campaign to speed up construction of the plant and take advantage of days with “fine weather”.

Yang Huanning, head of the State Administration of Work Safety, had already arrived on the scene to oversee an investigation into what happened and to collect evidence, the People’s Daily said.

His administration held an emergency meeting with departments all over China to learn the lessons of the accident to root out “hidden dangers” and ensure people’s safety, the newspaper said.

The official Xinhua news agency reported that police had taken 13 people into custody, but did not give further details.

China has vowed to improve its poor safety record.

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.

He admitted during his trial on Thursday taking bribes and gifts worth 28.5 million yuan ($4.1 million). He will be sentenced at a later date.

The two Yangs are not related.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Paul Tait)

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One Response to “China vows to ‘plug holes’ in work safety after deadly power plant accident — Death toll hits 74 — Police take 13 people into custody”

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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