Shanghai (AsiaNews / Agencies) - An early morning
explosion inside a car components factory in the eastern province of Jiangsu has
killed 65 people. At least 150 were wounded, with "dozens" in a
serious condition. The causes of the disaster, one of the worst occurred in China
this year, is still unknown, However some believe it was started by
contact between fine metal powder and naked flame. Rescue operations are
underway, while local hospitals are asking for help from larger structures in neighboring
The blast occurred at 7:37 am (local time) in the Zhongrong Plating Company in Kunshan, an industrial town located in the southern part of the province (about 50 kilometers west of Shanghai). The area has been sealed off by the authorities, but the images aired by China Central Television showed huge columns of black smoke rising from the damaged structure. A witness wrote on Sina Weibo: "The area is a disaster, it's unbelievable."
Kunshan medical staff confirm the hospitalization
of "more than 100 people" who have varying degrees of burns and respiratory
infections caused by the inhalation of toxic smoke. Rescuers are trying to limit
the damage, while the authorities are not yet able to confirm the number of
victims. The hospitals in Kunshan and Suzhou have enlisted the help of those in
Shanghai, and have urged residents to donate blood.
Zhongrong Plating managers have not yet commented on the incident. The factory employs more than 450 workers, and counts many of the U.S. car companies including General Motors among its clients.