Owner, partners of fireworks plant captured after explosion kills 10 in central China

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, January 23, 2011
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Police in central China's Henan Province have captured the owner and three partners of a fireworks plant, which exploded Wednesday, killing at least 10 and injuring 21, local authorities said.

The owner, Tian Baoshan, 54, was apprehended Saturday after he fled following the blast, said a spokesman with the publicity department of Yancheng District, Luohe City.

Tian is a native of Laogongtian Village, where the privately-owned Yutian Fireworks Plant was located.

The Wednesday blast ripped through the plant at about 4:50 p.m. and razed several rows of workshops. Minor blasts continued throughout the night, witnesses said.

There were 59 workers, all from nearby villages, working in the plant, and 28 escaped without injuries.

Fireworks are a major product manufactured in Liji township, which administers the village. The township has seen three fireworks factory explosions in the last 10 years, but the latest blast was the worst in terms of casualties.

The Spring Festival, the Chinese Lunar New Year that falls on Feb. 3 this year, usually brings a surge in fireworks sales as well as in accidental explosions, due to lax management and supervision.

China's work safety watchdog, the State Administration of Work Safety, urged local authorities on Friday to carry out strict safety checks at fireworks factories ahead of the Spring Festival.

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