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Extremely poor work safety caused deadly fire: probe

By Chang Meng  (Global Times)

09:34, June 07, 2013

The fire that claimed 120 lives and injured 77 at a poultry plant in Changchun, Jilin Province, has sent a nationwide alert to strengthen supervision of work safety, Premier Li Keqiang said at a State Council meeting Wednesday.

An initial investigation by the State investigation team on Thursday attributed the fire at the Baoyuanfeng Poultry Company in Dehui to the company's extremely poor management on work safety and incomplete regulations.

Changchun government spokesperson Zhao Xian said that Jia Yushan and Zhang Yushen, chairman and general manager of the company, are under criminal custody and the company's assets have also been frozen.

The local government and related agencies were also criticized by the investigation team on Thursday for their negligence of duty in supervision.

Wang Xichun, head of the firefighting brigade in Changchun, said the company passed the fire control inspection in December 2009, but showed some problems in later examinations.

"We're conducting safety checks on all companies in Dehui and three of them have been shut down to correct potential hazards," He Zhe, spokesperson for the Dehui government, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"The three big liquid ammonia tanks, which were emptied, are being transferred to a qualified company in Daqing, Heilongjiang Province, to prevent further disasters," said Liu Shengjun, deputy director of Changchun's administration of work safety. "We are working to process 10 smaller tanks and all ammonia residues in pipelines," Liu added.

Rescue work at the company entered the final phase on Thursday.

Some relatives of the missing workers were still camped outside the factory Thursday, while He Zhe said authorities are drawing up detailed compensation plans and will release a draft soon.

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