China's Pres. Xi Jinping Vows to Punish Those Responsible for Car Factory Explosion

By | Aug 03, 2014 05:59 AM EDT
Kunshan car parts factory bast

Medical personnel transport victims of a factory explosion at a hospital in Kunshan, Jiangsu province, Aug. 2, 1014(Photo : Reuters)

Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to punish those responsible for the blast in an auto part factory that killed 69 people and injured 180 workers on Saturday.

Xi had sent Wang Yong, one of China's state councilors, to oversee rescue efforts in the Kunshan factory and investigate the cause of the explosion.

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The incident underscores the earlier calls of Xi to industrial companies to observe and place the necessary safety improvements in industrial facilities in the wake of hundreds of deaths caused by poor safety measures in the workplace.

Around 120 people were killed in June last year when a fire broke out at the poultry plant in the province of Jillan while an explosion at a China petroleum plant in Quingdao left 80 people dead last November.

The recent blast was the deadliest industrial disaster of the year in China.

Xinhua reported that so far, China has had 19 cases of serious safety incidents which left more than 300 people dead and scores injured.

Premier Li has ordered safety officials to investigate the recent explosion while President Xi said there will be no stones left unturned in identifying the factory managers and officers  and bringing them to justice.

At least five officials of the plant have been detained.

The auto parts factory employs 450 workers; 200 of them were in the plant when the explosion occurred shortly after 7:00 A.M on Saturday.

Initial investigations showed that the explosion was caused by sparks which ignited dust at one of the polishing rooms where some 200 workers were working at the time of the blast.

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