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Work safety team dispatched to investigate fatal blast
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Work safety officials from Beijing are on their way to east China's Jiangsu Province to investigate the cause of a blast in an accommodation building that claimed 11 lives on Wednesday.

The State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) team would work with local officials in determining the cause of the explosion, said Peng Yujing, SAWS deputy chief of policy and regulation.

SAWS Wednesday briefed all local work safety bureaus about the blast, with the purpose of learning from the accident and preventing risks, said Peng.

Twenty people were injured when the explosion ripped through a building rented by workers on the Nanjing-Shanghai intercity railway Wednesday.

All the occupants of the building in Huiji Village of Danyang City, Jiangsu, were workers with the China Railways No. 24 Bureau.

An initial investigation showed that leftover aluminum powder, the amount of which was still unknown, ignited at about at 1:45 a.m., causing the building to collapse, said Xiao Quan, spokesman of the Jiangsu Provincial Government.

The building was used as a factory to process aluminum powder a couple of years ago. Investigators did not say how the powder exploded.

Reports on Wednesday said that four people were missing after the explosion, but Xiao said all of the residents had been accounted for.

Lu Zongxian, one of the survivors, said 44 workers had been living in the building. Some were away working at the time of the explosion.

The 20 injured are all described as stable in hospital.

Investigation into the cause of the accident is ongoing.

Construction of the 300 km-long intercity railway started in July 2008 and is expected to open to traffic in four years.

The railway is funded by an investment of 39.45 billion yuan (5.76 billion U.S. dollars) from the Ministry of Railways and the governments of Jiangsu and Shanghai. It will link Shanghai with Nanjing and a number of key cities and is expected to carry at least 30 million passengers a year at speeds of up to 250 km per hour.

(Xinhua News Agency March 12, 2009)

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