UK & World News

  • 2 August 2014, 11:35

Factory Blast Kills 'At Least 68' In China

At least 68 people have been killed and 120 others injured after a factory explosion in eastern China, according to state media.

The blast reportedly occurred at 7.30am local time at theKunshan Zhongrong workshop, which makes car wheels for US companies such as General Motors.

Footage showing large plumes of black smoke rising from the factory - which is in the province ofJiangsu- was broadcast on China Central Television (CCTV).

Other images showed the injured. some of whom were badly burnt, lying on wooden pallets and being placed in trucks and ambulances.

A senior unnamed doctor was quoted on CCTV as saying: "In my 20 years of work, I've never seen so many patients with burns on over 80% of their bodies."

He added that the eventual death toll could be "very high".

CCTV reported that more than 200 workers were at the site when the blast occurred.

A rescue operation is under way and authorities are working to confirm the number of casualties.

A preliminary investigation suggested the explosion was caused by negligence after a flame was lighted in a dust-filled room, state news agency Xinhua said.

Five officials from the factory have reportedly been detained.

Authorities have also established an emergency blood-donation drive in the city to assist casualties.

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