Death toll rises to five in chemical plant accident in NW China

16:18, March 25, 2010      

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The death toll from a molten ore accident at a chemical plant in northwest China's Gansu Province rose to five Thursday after an injured worker died in hospital.

Li Shiwen died after treatment failed at 2:40 a.m. and two other injured workers were critically ill, said Tai Zongren, deputy chief of Jingyuan County in Baiyin City, the site of the accident.

Ore being smelted in a huge furnace of the privately-run Huize Chemical Co. Ltd. gushed out at 4:20 p.m. Tuesday when a top layer of materials collapsed, said an official with the county's work safety supervision administration Wednesday.

A stream of molten ore quickly spread out, leaving seven workers at the site seriously scalded. Four of the workers died in hospital Wednesday.

An investigation team headed by the director of the provincial work safety bureau was investigating the cause of the accident, said Gou Xiaodi, an officer in charge of chemical products control with the bureau.

Source: Xinhua
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