Aluminium spill kills 9, injures 64 in E.China

Updated: 2007-08-20 09:42

ZOUPING -- Nine people were confirmed dead and another 64 were injured following a deadly molten aluminium burst in an east China plant on Sunday night, company sources and the local government said early on Monday.

Molten aluminium about 900 degrees Celsius spilt from its container at around 8:10 p.m. at a plant affiliated to the Weiqiao Pioneering Group Co., Ltd. in Zouping County, Shandong Province.

The spill, when encountering the cooling water in the workshop, produced a strong airflow that threatened around 82 people in at least two adjacent workshops.

By 6:30 a.m. Monday, nine people had died including Xiang Chengchang, head of a sub-branch of the Weiqiao Pioneering Group, and 64 injured workers had been hospitalized, said Pan Yulan, deputy head of Zouping County.

Xinhua reporters arrived at the scene at 3:30 am, and found that the roof of the ill-fated workshop had been blown off, its window panes smashed and walls cracked.

The eight-meter-tall, single-story workshop was 45 meters long and 27 meters wide, said Bo Qimin, deputy general manager of the Weiqiao Pioneering Group.

Local authorities have launched an investigation into the accident.

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