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China to overhaul workplace safety after deadly fire


08:06, June 06, 2013

BEIJING, June 5 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government on Wednesday pledged to aggressively ensure workplace safety after a slaughterhouse fire claimed 120 lives in northeast China's Jilin Province on Monday.

A nationwide workplace safety overhaul will begin soon and the government will not hesitate to harshly punish violators, according to a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council that was presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.

The overhaul will target key sectors, such as the coal mining and hazardous chemical industries, as well as labor-intensive enterprises, according to the statement.

The statement also called for institutionalizing the overhaul and making its results public, as well as punishing delinquent government and corporate employees without lenience.

"Production safety is a precondition for sustainable, healthy economic development," the statement said.

Local authorities must prioritize safety and make greater efforts to prevent major accidents, it said.

State Councilor Guo Shengkun delivered a report on the fire, which the statement said has "led to disastrous losses and taught us a severely profound lesson."

The statement also called for unyielding rescue efforts for those affected by the fire, as well as a thorough investigation into the cause of the blaze.

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