Safety questioned as China plant blast deaths rise to 71

August 3, 2014 12:11 pm
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Victims gather outside the gate of a factory after an explosion in Kunshan, east China's Jiangsu province on August 2, 2014/AFP
Victims gather outside the gate of a factory after an explosion in Kunshan, east China’s Jiangsu province on August 2, 2014/AFP

, china explosion victimsSHANGHAI, August 3- The death toll from an explosion at a Taiwan invested car parts factory in China climbed to 71 on Sunday, state media said, as a labour rights group cast doubt on its safety measures.

The blast on Saturday in a wheel hub polishing workshop at the Zhongrong Metal Products Co. in Kunshan, near Shanghai, also left 186 injured, state television said, many with severe burns and respiratory problems.

The death toll, announced by city officials at a news conference on Sunday, rose as more bodies were discovered in the partly destroyed factory, it said.

The firm manufactured for car companies, including US giant General Motors (GM).

Kunshan’s mayor Lu Jun on Saturday classified the incident as a “severe” industrial accident, which a preliminary investigation showed was caused by the ignition of powder or dust from the production process.

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