China: 6 killed in fireworks factory blast

2010-11-25 16:15
Beijing - An explosion at a fireworks factory in northern China on Thursday left six people dead and 10 injured, state media reported, in the latest accident to hit the rapidly-industrialising country.

The explosion occurred in Chengde City in the northern province of Hebei, the Xinhua news agency quoted local authorities as saying. The casualties were all local villagers, a county spokesperson said.

The injured were taken to a local hospital, where one was in critical condition, he said.

Police were probing the cause of the explosion but initial investigations suggested human error, the spokesperson said.

China has a notoriously poor workplace safety record blamed on widespread disregard for basic safety measures as companies chase profits.

An explosion at another fireworks factory in August left 33 people dead and more than 150 injured.

China last week ordered a nationwide overhaul of fire-control measures after a blaze at a Shanghai high-rise killed 53 people, highlighting the country's chronic problem with lax safety enforcement.

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