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Scaffolding collapses at power plant construction site in China; at least 67 dead

Beijing: State media say the death toll from the collapse of scaffolding at a construction site in eastern China has jumped to 67, with two other workers injured and one more missing.

Rescue workers look for survivors after a work platform collapsed in China's Jiangxi Province. AP

Rescue workers look for survivors after a work platform collapsed in China's Jiangxi Province. AP

China's state broadcaster CCTV says more than 100 paramilitary police have joined in efforts to rescue workers trapped when a work platform at a power plant construction site came tumbling down on Thursday morning.

The plant's cooling tower was being built in the city of Fengcheng in Jiangxi province.

The latest reported death toll suggests that nearly all the construction workers at the cooling tower perished. Local media reports say close to 70 people were working at the site when the scaffolding collapsed.

Footage showed iron pipes, steel bars and wooden planks strewn across the floor of the cooling tower.

Industrial accidents are common in China, where safety standards are often laxly enforced.

In August, a pipeline explosion at a coal-fired power plant in the neighbouring province of Hubei killed 21. Earlier this summer, more than 130 people were taken to hospital after chemicals leaked from a plant in eastern China.

In April, a chemical fire burned for 16 hours in the coastal province of Jiangsu after an explosion at a facility storing chemicals and fuel, requiring 400 firefighters to quell the flames. Last December, the collapse of a gypsum mine in the eastern province of Shandong left one person dead and 13 others unaccounted for, with four miners rescued after being trapped underground for 36 days.

A total of 19 people had been found responsible for the incident, Xinhua said Thursday, with three managers arrested and 16 other local officials "punished". The agency did not give further details. The owner of the collapsed mine committed suicide by drowning himself at the scene soon after the collapse, Xinhua said. He will not be subject to criminal liabilities, it cited investigators as saying.

Updated Date: Nov 24, 2016 16:10 PM

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