75 Dead from China Car Parts Plant Blast, Poor Safety Measures Blamed
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | August 4, 2014 4:36 PM EST
At least 75 people have died after a car parts plant in China exploded over the weekend. The plant located in eastern Jiangsu Province manufactured for a number of global car companies, including U.S. giant General Motors (GM).
File photo of cars made by South Korea's Hyundai Motor Group on a truck at the company's shipping yard at a port in Pyeongtaek
The explosion occurred at 7:37 am in Kunshan City, which is not far from Shanghai. National broadcaster CCTV said the city holds a number of automotive factories.
Most of the victims were young migrant workers. The day's shift had just started then at 7 am and should end at 11 pm.
Initial investigations showed the explosion was set off by the ignition of powder or dust from the production process.
The People's Daily newspaper reported that authorities have detained five company officials of Zhongrong Metal Products Co.
Still, a workers' rights group believed the death toll could have been minimised or accidents could have been prevented had the facility installed proper measures.
"Safety measures like ventilation systems should have prevented such accumulation of dust particles. This tragedy is a result of lax safety standards in the workplace," U.S.-based China Labor Watch said in a statement.
Safety experts said that dust suspended in the air in the right concentration are perfect ingredients for explosions. They even make non-explosive materials become explosive under certain conditions.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for severe punishment on those responsible for the explosion. He likewise ordered safety checks to prevent further disasters.
From January to June this year alone, China had already 19 serious safety incidents that killed over 200 people, Xinhua said on its microblog on Aug 2.
General Motors had confirmed that Zhongrong is an indirect supplier, manufacturing parts for Dicastal, a global supplier to the Detroit-based automaker.
"Our direct suppliers are required to source from tier-2 suppliers who must meet both in-country environment and safety standards, as well as quality standards," the AFP quoted General Motors.
The plant employs 450 people, according to the company's Web site. Its operations include plating and polishing of metal parts such as wheel hubs.
Xinhua said there were 264 people at the site at the time of the explosion.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 1: San Francisco Giants 7, Kansas City Royals 1 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series - Game 2: Kansas City Royals 7, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
- NFL Thursday Recap - Denver Broncos 35, San Diego Chargers 21: Peyton Manning Has 3 TDs In Easy Win [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 3: Kansas City Royals 3, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Australia's Low Birth Rate May Be Due to Low Confidence in Economy
- Fears Of Infection Spread Prompt Some US Hospitals To Refuse Ebola Patients
- Readers Slam a Book Showing That US Wealth And Power Rests on Slave Labour
- LG G Watch R To Be Available Globally Starting With Europe, North America And Asia Through Retail Sites And Play Store
- Young Teen Fighter Says ISIS Uses Drugs On Suicide Bombers To Get Them Perform The Act
- Xiaomi Redmi 1S vs. Sharp Aquos Crystal – Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Verizon Motorola Droid Turbo Leaked Live Images Surfaces, Scheduled To Get Unveiled On Oct 28
- Update HTC One M7 with LG G2 with Android 4.4.2 as Sprint OTA: Fixes and Installation
- U.S. Targets Buyers of ISIS Oil, Threatens Sanctions
- ISIS Syria Airstrike Bombing Has Killed 550 People, Civilians Included
- Russia Blocking OSCE Monitoring Of Its Border With Ukraine
- Russia Slams US 'Double Standards' In The Fight Against ISIS