2 dead, 18 injured after blast at battery plant

A plant worker and a firefighter have been killed and 18 others injured after an explosion rocked a battery storehouse in an eastern Chinese province known as an industrial hub.

The state-run China News Service reported Wednesday that the blast occurred at around 6 p.m. (1200GMT) Tuesday at a lithium battery manufacturer storehouse in Qidong city in Jiangsu.

It cited a city government statement as saying that a total of 20 people — including 12 workers and eight firefighters — were transported to nearby hospitals, where two later succumbed to their injuries.

The plant belonging to the Haisida Power Supply Co. Ltd. has been shut down amid an ongoing investigation.

Dozens of people are killed in industrial accidents in China each year, raising questions about lax safety regulations in the country.

On Aug. 12 last year, two massive warehouse explosions rocked the northern port city of Tianjin, leaving 173 dead including many firefighters.

In mid-January, at least four workers died in a blast at a machinery factory in China’s largest city Shanghai.

One week later, three people were killed and more than 50 injured when explosions ripped through a fireworks factory in eastern Jiangxi Province, causing the evacuation of 1,000 nearby residents.


from AA