South China plant blasts kill 17

World Today

Policemen and medical staff gather outside a damaged factory after an explosion in Foshan, Guangdong province, December 31, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

17 people were killed and at least 30 others injured after blasts rocked a plant in Foshan City in south China’s Guangdong Province Wednesday morning, local authorities said. Guangdong Province is one of China’s largest manufacturing bases.

Witnesses said they heard three loud consecutive explosions at around 09:40 and saw smoke rising from the Fuwa Engineering Manufacturing Co. Ltd in the city’s Shunde District.

A local firefighter said there were many people working in the plant at the time of the explosions. All injured people were rushed to nearby hospitals. A decorating worker who was working at least 1 km away from the site told Xinhua that he can hear loud sound of explosions.

The cause of the blasts is still under investigation. Meanwhile, Chinese government has sacked two senior officials over an explosion at a car parts factory in August that killed 146, the country’s worst industrial accident this year.

This report is compiled with inputs from Xinhua news agency.