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19 workers in Wuhan killed after elevator plunges 100m (2)

(Global Times)

08:22, September 14, 2012

The registration plate on the elevator wreckage was still intact. The validity period of the registration was from June 23, 2011 to June 23, 2012 and the capacity of the elevator was 12.

Five vehicles from local funeral houses, two ambulances and one fire truck were seen driving out of the construction site. Victims were said to mostly be residents of Wuhan. The identities of the victims were not released. A local official surnamed said construction was halted.

Local authorities have launched an investigation into the cause of the accident and have suspended work at all construction sites in the province until safety checks are completed, according to Mei Hua, a local official.

Reporters were barred from entering the scene as security guards threatened to delete photographs and allegedly beat journalists, an unnamed local reporter claimed on his Sina Weibo. The account could not be immediately verified.

The incident drew widespread attention on the Internet, with many Web users lighting virtual candles for the victims. Others were asking who should be held responsible for the tragedy and how such incidents could be prevented from happening again in the future.

Wuhan has more than 5,000 construction sites, media reports say.

Zhang Yiwu, a professor of culture at Peking University, told the Global Times that China should never seek rapid urbanization at the cost of respect for human life.

"Authorities must always prioritize work to improve conditions to guarantee people's safety. That is the paramount issue," Zhang said.

Government supervision over safety issues during the urbanization process is crucial, Zhang said.

Liang Chen and Xinhua contributed to this story

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