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Deadly poultry plant fire caused by short circuit

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-06-21 21:35

BEIJING - An electrical short has been identified as the cause of the fire which killed 121 people in a poultry plant in northeast China's Jilin Province earlier this month, authorities said on Friday.

The short ignited "combustible goods" nearby and then the heat set off "physical explosions" of ammonia equipment and pipelines, said an investigation task force.

The force was set up by the State Council and included about 20 experts on firefighting, chemicals, explosion accidents and fire disasters

The key evidence is the existence of "fused metal beads." An electrical short sends a very strong electric current which can fuse metal. This fused metal, when cooled, will exist as separate beads, according to the task force.

It also explained that "physical explosions" mean high temperatures can inflate and evaporate liquid ammonia in pipelines, the high pressures potentially causing blasts in pipes.

The fire broke out at 6:06 a.m. on June 3 at a poultry processing workshop owned by the Jilin Baoyuanfeng Poultry Company in Mishazi Township in the city of Dehui, about 100 km northeast of the provincial capital Changchun.

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