Aluminium burst's death toll rises to 14

Updated: 2007-08-20 11:38

The death toll has climbed to 14 after Sunday's deadly molten aluminium burst in the eastern Shandong Province as five more injured workers died at hospital Monday morning, the local government said.

Another 59 people remain hospitalized, said Pan Yulan, deputy head of Zouping County where the tragedy occurred at around 8:10 pm on Sunday.

Molten aluminium about 900 degrees Celsius spilt from its container at a plant affiliated to the Weiqiao Pioneering Group Co Ltd in Zouping. 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 am Monday, the death toll stood at nine and 64 people were being treated at three hospitals in Zouping and the provincial capital Jinan.

Xinhua reporters visited the two local hospitals, the Zouping People's Hospital and the Zouping County Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, but were banned from entering the emergency wards.

The roof of the ill-fated workshop had been blown off in the accident, its window panes smashed and walls cracked. The eight-meter-tall, single-story workshop was 45 meters long and 27 meters wide.

Local authorities have launched an investigation into the accident.

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