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 CHINA: Poultry plant fire
From Time2013-8-8

03 June 2013

A fire which broke out at a poultry processing plant in China is reported to have killed at least 119 people.

The fire at a slaughterhouse in Dehui in Jilin province started early on Monday (3rd June). Prior to the fire their are unconfirmed accounts of explosions which caused panic and a crush of workers trying to escape. Some exits were said to be locked.
It is believed that the fire has now been extinguished and bodies are being recovered.

The provincial fire department suggest there may have been an ammonia leak which either caused the fire or made fighting the blaze more hazardous while other reports speak of an electrical fault. Nearly 100 workers managed to escape from the Baoyuan plant and added that the complicated interior structure of the building and narrow exits had made rescue work more difficult.

This devastating fire is China's deadliest since 2000, when 309 people died in a blaze in a dance hall in Luoyang, in Henan province.  Firefighters are still carrying out the the job of recovering bodies from the building, meaning the death toll may rise yet further. Dozens of injured have been sent to hospital, but the severity of their injuries remains unclear.

According to the news agency Reuters - the provincial government said it sent more than 500 firefighters and at least 270 doctors and nurses to the scene, evacuating an area nearby that is home to 3,000 people as a precaution. Workers interviewed by state broadcaster CCTV said the fire broke out at about 0600hrs local time during a shift change and may have started in a locker room.

Those who managed to escape from the factory describe panic and chaos as the lights went out, the building filled with smoke, and they found exits blocked or locked. The plant is owned by Jilin Baoyuanfeng Poultry Co. and is located around 500 miles north-east of Beijing. It employs some 1,200 people and produces some 67,000 tonnes of chicken products every year.It was only established in 2009 and is not an old or antiquated facility.

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