BEIJING, China (AFP) — A pipeline explosion at a power station in China killed at least 21 people and injured five more yesterday, the official Xinhua news service reported. Three people were seriously injured and were being treated in hospital, reports said.
The blast, which Xinhua said happened in a high-pressure steam pipeline, came a day before the first anniversary of giant explosions that killed more than 170 people in the northern port city of Tianjin.
The latest incident occurred at a coal-fired power plant in Dangyang, in the central province of Hubei, and rescue efforts were underway, reports said.A photograph, purportedly from the scene, showed a bare concrete shell and metal scaffolding standing by a smokestack.
The local government official said authorities were investigating the cause. Newspapers said the company operating the coal-fired plant was registered for power generation and sales of slag ash and petroleum products.
Industrial accidents are common in China, where safety standards are often lax, despite a central Government-ordered drive to upgrade safety in factories, power plants and mines. Those efforts were redoubled after the massive series of explosions at Tianjin a year ago killed 173 people — mostly firefighters and police — in one of China’s worst-ever workplace accidents.