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13 killed at Chinese plant in 1,000-degree explosion

By Li Qian (Shanghai Daily)

09:19, February 22, 2012

Workers yesterday clear debris near a burst mold at a steel casting workshop in northeast China's Anshan after an explosion blasted sand and concrete from inside it as workers were about to finish casting a ring-shaped piece of steel on Monday night.

An explosion rocked a steel plant on Monday night in northeast China, killing at least 13 workers and leaving another 17 injured, officials said yesterday.

Six of the 17 suffered burns over 65 percent of their bodies and were in a critical condition last night. Two had burns over most of their bodies, the Anshan City hospital authority said.

The accident happened when a mold exploded at 11:30pm at a steel-casting workshop owned by Angang Steel Heavy Machinery Co Ltd, according to a statement by the publicity department of Liaoning's provincial committee of the Communist Party of China. The mold, about 10 meters in diameter, exploded, and sand and concrete inside burst out when workers were about to finish casting a ring-shaped piece of steel, a worker who survived the blast told Xinhua news agency.

The temperature inside the mold was more than 1,000 degrees Celsius at the time and the wood, plastic and other material piled around the mold immediately caught fire.

The local work safety authority is investigating the incident, Xinhua said.

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