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Officials Caution "Mass Incidents" After 120 Killed in Poultry Factory Fire in NE

06-04 00:00 财经网 财经网

Local provincial officials held an emergency meeting last night after a tragedy fire killed 120 workers in a plant in northeastern China's Jilin Province, stressing the needs to placate victims' families and guard against any "mass incidents", local media said.

The death of 120 workers on Monday, when a blast-provoked fire engulfed Baoyuanfeng poultry plant in minutes in northeast China's Jilin Province, has claimed the attentions from Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is visiting abroad, and Premier Li Keqiang. The leaders demanded local authorizes should take all possible relief and rescue measures, and to hold accountable those responsible for the blasts, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Armed police cordon off the scene of the fire on June 3, which was triggered by the leakage of liquid ammonia and killed 120.

While vowing to continue with search and rescue in the ruins of the plant, officials attending the meeting said they will be careful and meticulous in dealing with the aftermath of the tragedy.

Wang Rulin, party secretary of Jilin, said the government will assign a "working team" to the family of each victim to "placate" the members, and ordered officials to "resolutely prevent major mass incidents", according to a statement on local government's website.

 "We must spare no efforts in maintaining stability….,and launch contingency plans…to guard against any major mass incident," it said.

Local authorities have already detained an official at the plant, Xinhua said, without elaborating. It added that the State Council, or the cabinet, has set up a special panel to investigate on the incident, the worst for more than a decade.

Dozens were killed soon after the fire broke out on Monday morning, local media said, and the death toll hit 120 ending Monday night. Another 70 were injured and the number of the missing is still unknown.

CCTV said serial blasts -- with intervals for about 20 minutes -- were triggered after liquid ammonia was leaked at the plant. The media also indicated human causes could be blamed for the heavy death toll. Citing a survivor, it said the plant has several safety exits but some of them are typically locked once workers are in. There are also reports saying the workshop where the fire started has only one open door. Up to 300 people were working inside, they said.

Officials gathered in the last night's meeting also vowed to strength control over the Internet to "prevent malicious exaggeration, rumors spreading and firmly prevent the misleading of public opnions and the undermining of stability," the statement said.

Chinese governments are cautious about public reactions in such incidents. Last month, the death of a 22-year-old woman sparked mass gathering in Beijing, after angry migrant workers were unconvinced by local police over the death of the woman, and speculations circulated online.


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