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Improper Rescues Claim More Lives
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Improper rescue measures in 17 work-related accidents this year resulted in unnecessary deaths, according to China's work safety watchdog on Thursday.

In the 17 accidents, 85 were killed and 46 injured, but only 57 people were at risk when the accidents initially happened, statistics from the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) show.

The SAWS cited the case on Sept. 1 of a sulfureted hydrogen poisoning accident occurred at the Jianbao Co. Lt. in Bouying county of east China's Jiangsu province.

Six people died and three were injured after eight people without proper facilities rushed to help one worker who was poisoned while cleaning a pool used to preserve lotus roots.

Sulfureted hydrogen is colorless and extremely poisonous gas responsible for the characteristic odour of rotten eggs. It usually accumulates in sewage conduits and cellars without adequate ventilation.

Of the 17 accidents, four happened in mines, but 13 occurred in other industries, in which a total of 41 people died and 22 were injured despite the fact that only 17 were at risk at the outset of the accidents.

These included nine sulfureted hydrogen cases in which 28 people died.

The SAWS urged local governments and companies to take proper measures to prevent similar accidents.

"Local governments should publicize security knowledge and raise awareness of poisonous gases and proper safety and rescue techniques," said a notice publicized on the SAWS website.

"Companies should install equipment poisonous gas alarms and warning signs and detectors," the notice said. "Emergency drills should be held for possible accidents."

(Xinhua News Agency September 14, 2007)

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