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 Fire at Chinese Poultry Factory Kills 120
From Time2013-8-8

Fire at Chinese Poultry Factory Kills 120

@ShortTitle@
17 June 2013
A devastating fire at a factory of the Jilin Baoyuanfeng Poultry Co. in Dehui city in northeast China's Jilin province resulted in the death of 120 workers.

Safety conditions at the factory were described by China’s workplace safety agency as “extremely chaotic”. Safety exits were blocked and the factory’s managers failed to hold the required safety drills or undertake safety training. No one at the plant took responsibility for safety, and the relevant local government departments failed to make proper inspections.

These preliminary findings came just four days after the fire, suggesting that Chinese officials have learned from past industrial disasters, where slow and incomplete responses have aroused considerable public anger.

The fire was China’s deadliest industrial accident in five years and highlighted what is being described as: “the continuing gross neglect of worker safety, despite the growth and sophistication of the world’s second-largest economy”.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, but initial reports suggest that it may have been sparked by an explosion caused by leaking ammonia, a chemical kept pressurised as part of the cooling system in meat processing plants. The fire broke out during a shift change when about 350 workers were at the plant.

 
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