19 killed in China starch plant blast: State media
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Last Updated: Thursday, February 25, 2010, 19:27
Beijing: Nineteen people are dead and nearly 50 workers injured after a large explosion at a starch production plant in northern China, state media said on Thursday.

The blast occurred yesterday at the Lihua Starch Co Ltd factory in Hebei province, Xinhua news agency said.

The preliminary death toll was earlier set at 13 dead, but the bodies of five missing workers were found today, while one person who was severely injured in the blast died in hospital, the report said.

The provincial government has set up a special investigative team to probe the cause of the blast, and both the director and vice-manager of the plant have been taken into police custody for questioning.

Production was halted after the incident.

China's work safety record is notoriously bad, as an emphasis on economic growth over the past three decades has led to widespread disregard for workplace security.


First Published: Thursday, February 25, 2010, 19:27

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