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China plant blast death toll reaches 69 as safety questioned

Published on Aug 3, 2014 12:35 PM
 
Medical personnel transport a victim of a factory explosion at a hospital in Kunshan, Jiangsu province on Saturday, Aug 2, 2014. The death toll from an explosion at a Taiwan-invested car parts factory in China reached 69 by Sunday, state media said, as a labour rights group cast doubt on its safety measures. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (AFP) - The death toll from an explosion at a Taiwan-invested car parts factory in China reached 69 by Sunday, state media said, as a labour rights group cast doubt on its safety measures.

The blast on Saturday in a wheel hub polishing workshop at the Zhongrong Metal Products Co. in Kunshan, near Shanghai, also left nearly 200 injured, state television said, many with severe burns.

The force of the explosion caused metal siding on the factory building to peel back, AFP journalists saw, while state television showed broken machinery and smashed windows.

Kunshan's mayor Lu Jun on Saturday classified the incident as a "serious" industrial accident which a preliminary investigation showed was caused by the ignition of powder or dust from the production process.

 
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