China / Society

At least 69 dead, 150 injured in E China factory blast

( Updated: 2014-08-02 11:04

Key Points:

The blast happened at around 7:37 a.m. on Saturday in Kunshan, Jiangsu province.

Seventy-one died.

Explosion might be caused by flames igniting dusts.

Kunshan government calls for blood donation.

Working conditions are terrible according to several people whose relatives work in the factory.


Kunshan Zhongrong Metal Products Co., Ltd., founded in 1998, is located in No. 189, Nanhe Road, Kunshan, Jiangsu province. It is a Taiwan-invested company, with a register capital of $8.8 million. It mainly works on the surface treatment of aluminium alloy products. The company has 450 employees and a factory area of 48000 square meters.

It listed General Motors as a client.

Information provided by the compamy.


August 3


The death toll from an explosion that ripped through a factory in East China's Jiangsu province on Saturday morning has risen to 71, with 186 injured, local government said Sunday.


August 2


The explosion has left 69 people dead and more than 180 others injured after ripping through a factory in east China's Jiangsu Province.


There were 261 workers at the site when the explosion struck, and 44 died immediately. Another 24 died on the way to hospital, according to Lu Jun, mayor of Kunshan. Some 187 people injured in the blast are receiving treatment at several hospitals.


The death toll rose to 68, according to the press conference.


Wang Yong, China's state councilor, was heading to the site on the requests of President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang as a representative of Beijing.


Five managers of Kunshan Zhongrong Metal Products Co, Ltd. are being questioned by the local public security department following the blast. Investigations into the incident are continuing, CCTV reported.


A security guard from an adjacent factory and who declined to be named said the impact from the explosion was so great that it shattered the windows of his guard house, located about 500 metres away from the site of the blast.


At least 69 dead, 150 injured in E China factory blast
Zhang Qin, a doctor in the burns department at Shanghai’s Ruijin Hospital, said the death rate among blast victims is “quite high”. "During my 20-year career, I have never seen so many patients whose burns take up 80 percent of their body." [Photo by Wei Tian/]


Working conditions 'worst'

By Wei Tian

A man surnamed Cheng said he could not contact his wife who had been working in the factory. He said conditions were “the worst” in Kunshan’s industrial development zone.

He said that in the dusty environment, the only protection workers were given was a mask and gloves while air filtering equipment is basically useless.

According to Cheng, workers earned 5,000 yuan ($830) per month, but the staff turnover rate is high due to the heavy workload. The factory has 20 to 30 new employees every day and some are not trained at all.

At least 69 dead, 150 injured in E China factory blast

A man from central China's Henan province says his 25-year-old wife was injured in the blast and now sent to a hospital. [Photo by Wei Tian/]


Four injured in the blast died on the way to a hospital, according to China Central Telelvsion.


Two managers of Kunshan Zhongrong Metal Products Co., Ltd. are being questioned following the blast, as investigations continue, Kunshan government said.

At least 69 dead, 150 injured in E China factory blast
Exterior wall of the workshop damaged [Photo/Xinhua]


Relatives of factory workers said the workshop is very dirty and full of dust. A worker was reportedly forced to quit due to the dust problem. A person lost contact with his mother who was working in the factory. – From Xinmin Evening News


Xinhua said the exterior wall of the workshop was badly damaged in the blast, with two giant holes formed in the wall and all windows broken and scattered 50 meters around the workshop. The blast was reportedly so powerful it launched heavy equipment outside the workshop.


Captain of Blue Sky Rescue Team said the factory area where the explosion happened is as big as a football field, taking up about one-third of the whole factory. The injured people are mainly male aged 20 to 30. The captain said many of the seriously wounded victims died on the road to hospitals and in the process of treatment. The time needed for transferring the injured was about 40 minutes as the roads were unblocked.


An official at Shanghai Ruijin Hospital said doctors are sparing no effort to rescue the injured, adding that some of the seriously wounded remain in unstable condition. Some of the injured have been transferred to Suzhou and Wuxi for further treatment. - as posted on the Weibo account of the Morning Post, a Shanghai-based newspaper.

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