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Scaffolding collapse in east China kills dozens

A work platform at a construction site in eastern China has collapsed, killing at least 67 people, Chinese media say. A number of other people were trapped under debris.

Part of a power station under construction in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangxi collapsed on Thursday, killing dozens of people and trapping several others under a jumble of steel girders and concrete slabs, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Xinhua said the work platform at a cooling tower in the city of Fengcheng came down in the early hours of the morning.

Crane being used to remove collapsed scaffolding (picture-alliance/ZumaPress/Xinhua/Wan Xiang)

The collapse left several people under the debris

State broadcaster CCTV said the death toll in the disaster had risen to 67, updating an earlier figure of 40 dead given by Xinhua.

Some 68 people were on site when the collapse occurred, according to the local state media outlet China Jiangxi Online. Local media said one person was still missing.

Firetrucks and more than 200 military personnel were deployed to the site to help in rescue operations, the provincial fire department said.

Bad industrial safety record

China has experienced several major industrial accidents in recent months and years, most of them attributed to lax enforcement of safety standards.

In August, 21 people died when a pipeline exploded at a coal-fired power plant in the neighboring province on Hubei, while 81 people were killed in December last year when a pile of soil and waste collapsed on nearly three dozen buildings in the city of Shenzhen.

The construction of two 1,000-megawatt coal-fired power units at the Fengcheng power plant began last year and was expected to be completed by early 2018, the local Yichun city government said last year. The expansion would cost a total of 7.67 billion yuan (now 1.04 billion euros, $1.1 billion), it said.

tj/sms (AP, AFP)

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