At least 67 killed in China power plant mishap

BEIJING: Rescuers in China were battling on Thursday to free a worker trapped after the collapse of a platform under construction at a power plant killed at least 67 people, state media said.

Deadly accidents are relatively common at industrial sites in China, where anger over lax standards is growing. Three decades of swift economic growth have been marred by incidents ranging from mining disasters to factory fires.

Five injured workers were taken to hospital soon after Thursday morning's accident at the plant in Fengcheng in the eastern province of Jiangxi, the official Xinhua news agency said.

State television, which put the death toll at 67, said rescuers were trying to free one trapped worker.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has ordered an investigation, demanding that those responsible for the accident should be held accountable, the central government said.

"Strengthen supervision and preventive measures, prevent such a major accident from happening again," it cited Li as saying in a statement on its website.

Xinhua did not identify the type of power plant, but previous state media reports have said it was coal-powered.

China has vowed to improve safety at such facilities. President Xi Jinping has said authorities would learn the lessons paid for with blood after chemical blasts in the port city of Tianjin killed more than 170 people last year.

Shortly after those explosions, Yang Dongliang was removed from his post as director of the State Administration of Work Safety, and later charged with corruption.

During his trial, which ended on Thursday, he admitted to taking bribes and gifts worth 28.5 million yuan ($4.12 million), state television reported. He will be sentenced later, it added.

It was not immediately possible to reach Yang's legal representative for comment.

(UPDATE)

At least 40 dead in China construction accident

BEIJING: At least 40 people have died and others are still trapped after a platform under construction at a power plant's cooling tower in eastern China's Jiangxi province collapsed on Thursday, state news agency Xinhua said.

The accident happened in Fengcheng at around 7 am (2300 GMT) and rescuers were on the scene, Xinhua said.

The death toll was likely to rise because an unknown number of people were still trapped, it said. Five injured workers have been sent to hospital.

Deadly accidents are relatively common at industrial sites in China, and anger over lax standards is growing. Three decades of swift economic growth have been marred by incidents ranging from mining disasters to factory fires.

China has vowed to improve safety at such facilities. President Xi Jinping has said authorities would learn the lessons paid for with blood after chemical blasts in the port city of Tianjin killed more than 170 people last year.