Gas burst leaves five dead in plastics plant in east China

19:26, September 16, 2010      

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Five people died when a pressurized gas container burst at a SINOPEC plastics plant in Shandong Province Wednesday, the company said Thursday.

The accident occurred at about 8:38 p.m. Wednesday when workers were filling production facilities with nitrogen during maintenance work at the plant in Zibo City, said an official with SINOPEC Qilu Petrochemicals, which owns the plant.

According to the company, a gas container became dislodged and nitrogen suddenly burst out, killing two people at the site and three others died later in the hospital after emergency treatment failed. One worker was slightly injured.

Some of the equipment at the plant was being replaced and updated when the accident occurred.

The victims were aged from 41 to 46, said Liu Xiaoguo, vice manager of the project contractor, Shandong Qilu Petrochemical Construction Co. Ltd..

Four of the victims were employees of the project contractor and the other worked for the plastics plant.

An initial investigation found bad work practices were to blame for the accident.

"Some screws on the gas container might have become loose, or workers failed to turn down the gas pressure before fixing the screws," said Zhao Yanbin, a senior engineer of the plant.

Officials with the local work safety supervision administration are investigating the accident.

Source: Xinhua


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