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Collapse kills more than 70 workers

Hits:  UpdateTime:2016-11-25 15:30:42

Seventy-four workers have been confirmed dead and and another two

injured after a working platform within a power plant's unfinished

cooling tower collapsed on Thursday morning in Jiangxi province.

President Xi Jinping urged local authorities early on Thursday to step

up rescue, treatment and follow-up efforts. The country has seen several

recent work accidents, and the central government should take steps

to thoroughly root out work safety hazards, he said.

Premier Li Keqiang called on rescue workers to put lives first by

saving anyone who was trapped and by treating the injured. He urged

setting up a State Council team to help investigate the cause of the

accident and punish anyone accountable according to laws.

The collapse occurred at around 7 am on Thursday when a tower crane's

collapse triggered the collapse of the entire construction platform within

the cooling tower of the Fengcheng Power Plant in Yichun, Jiangxi.

One of the three injured workers was in critical condition, according to a

statement from the provincial government.

The two other workers were in stable condition at a hospital, China

Central Television reported. They were migrant workers from Gansu

province, the report said, adding that the work crew also included

workers from Cheng'an county, Hebei province.

Li Yihuang, the vice-governor of Jiangxi who is heading a

provincial-level investigation team, said at a news briefing that

workers from the night shift were being relieved by the morning

shift when the collapse occurred.

"We will conduct a serious investigation into the cause of the

accident and hold those who are responsible accountable," he said.

Local authorities sent more than 500 rescuers to the collapse site after

the incident took place.

The construction of two 1 million-kilowatt, coal-fired power units at

the plant began in July last year and was expected to be completed by

early 2018, local authorities said.

The power plant, which is owned by Jiangxi Ganneng Co, launched a

100-day campaign on Sept 13 to speed up construction of the plant,

according to a statement released by the company in September.

In the statement, the company had said its administrative staff should

go to the construction site to supervise the construction units to

increase the number of workers, speed up progress on the projects

and take advantage of days with "fine weather", the statement said.

Li Yihuang, the vice-governor, said construction of the cooling tower

started in April. The height of the tower will be 160 meters when

completed. So far, workers have completed the construction of 70 meters.

The accident in Jiangxi is the country's third major work accident

in the past three months.

On Sept 28, a gas explosion at a coal mine in Shizuishan, Ningxia

Hui autonomous region, killed 19 people and left one person missing.

On Oct 31, a gas explosion at a coal mine in Yongchuan district of

Chongqing killed 33 miners.

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