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China suspends work at hundreds of factories after deadly blast

Published on Aug 6, 2014 6:23 PM
Firefighter trucks are seen next to a damaged building after an explosion at a factory in Zhoushan, Jiangsu province on Aug 2, 2014. China has shut 214 factories for safety risks in a city where an explosion at an auto parts factory last week killed 75 people, state media said on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) -  China has suspended work at more than 200 factories in an eastern province for safety checks as part of a nationwide review following an explosion at an auto parts plant that killed 75 people, government officials and state media said.  

Officials have been ordered to shut all aluminium and magnesium processing factories – and others that generate metal dust – for safety violations, the Jiangsu provincial government said in a statement late on Wednesday.  

Some 214 factories in Suzhou and 54 factories in Kunshan have been shut and will not reopen until they obtain government approval.  It was not immediately clear how long that would take, but some companies affected by the safety blitz said they expect to resume work in about one to three weeks.  

When Reuters visited the Suzhou Industrial Park, which hosts a number of foreign auto-part makers, most of the factories were still running and had only suspended work in areas that generate metal dust.  Metaldyne, which makes automotive parts such as valves and gears, said the government order only affected one of its productions line that uses about a dozen workers out of a total of 300 at the plant.

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