24 killed 148 injured in twin mishaps in China

Last Updated: Monday, August 16, 2010 - 23:52

Beijing: At least 24 persons were killed
and 148 injured in China today in two separate incidents,
including 13 people in an explosion at a fireworks factory in
Heilongjiang province.

Thirteen people were killed and 148 others injured in
an explosion at a fireworks factory in the Wumahe District of
Yichun City in Heilongjiang province, local official said.

More than 2,000 residents were evacuated after the
explosion shattered the windows of buildings one kilometre
away and damaged iron fences standing 100 meters away.

"The shock waves of the explosion was felt up to five
km away," official Xinhua news agency reported.

The fire has been extinguished after a helicopter
dumped water on the blaze above but some fireworks are still
exploding.

There are usually 40 to 50 people at work in the
factory on working days. However, the exact number of workers
who were in the factory when the explosion occurred is
unknown.

More than 550 fire fighters and soldiers in 20 fire
trucks were dispatched to the scene.

Some 300 rescuers are on their way to the scene to
search for survivors.

"Fire trucks are hosing water onto nearby storehouses
to prevent another explosion," said Xu Zhaojun, Party chief of
Yinchun City.

In another accident, 11 people were killed after an
elevator at a hospital construction site in Meihekou City in
northeast China`s Jilin Province crashed from the sixth floor
to the ground.

The construction of the 12-story building had been
completed and the workers were engaged in the exterior
decoration while the accident happened, the publicity
department of the municipal committee of the Communist Party
of China, said in a statement.

The accident happened when the elevator with 11 people
inside crashed from the sixth floor to the ground.

The 11 people on it failed to respond to medical
treatment, Xinhua reported.

The manager of Dongbei Jincheng Construction Co Ltd,
the contractor, was taken into police custody and his bank
account and assets have been frozen, the statement said.

The site has been cordoned off.

PTI



First Published: Monday, August 16, 2010 - 23:52

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