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China to Build Emergency Rescue System for Industrial Accidents
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The Chinese government plans to build a national emergency rescue system for industrial accidents by the end of 2008, said a senior safety official on Thursday.

The system would cover both ministries and local governments, aiming at improving efficiency in emergency rescues, said Wang Dexue, deputy director of the State Administration of Work Safety.

China already has a rescue service with 250,000 people nationwide to deal with emergency accidents, Wang said.

A preliminary system had been established at ministerial and provincial levels, but more local governments should be involved, said Wang.

The new system would replace the current arrangement under which different departments are responsible for emergency rescue work and a lack of coordination slows operations and hampers efficiency.

The system should be built at three levels: national, provincial and municipal.

Counties with poor work safety records should also have an emergency rescue institution, Wang said.

He also asked all companies and factories to draft emergency plans for accidents by the end of the year.

China's notoriously poor industrial accident rate has become more serious with its fast economic growth. Last year, about 127,000 people died in workplace accidents and 17 incidents involved death tolls exceeding 30.

(Xinhua News Agency September 1, 2006)

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