China's State Administration of Work Safety said on Monday that the country's metallurgical industry should draw a lesson from the recent gas leak accident at Ganglu Iron and Steel Co., Ltd. and step up work safety inspection.
A blast furnace gas leak took place on Dec. 24 at the company in Zunhua City of northern Hebei Province, about 150 kilometers east of the capital Beijing.
A total of 44 people were working around the blast furnace at the time of the leak. The death toll has risen to 17, with another 27 injured.
An initial investigation showed the accident was caused when an explosion vent panel burst on the top of the furnace's gravity dust filter.
The administration urged local work safety agencies to step up safety check for those metallurgical companies where outdated equipment is still in operation.
The Ganglu company, founded in May 2001, has about 7,000 employees. It has an annual output of 3 million tonnes of steel products.
(Xinhua News Agency December 30, 2008)