At least 67 killed in China power plant mishap
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Rescue workers search the site where a power plant's cooling tower under construction collapsed, in Fengcheng, Jiangxi province, China, November 24, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer
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By Ben Blanchard
BEIJING (Reuters) - A platform under construction at a power plant in eastern China collapsed early on Thursday, killing 67 people and injuring two, while rescuers pulled one worker from the debris, state media said.
Deadly accidents are relatively common at industrial sites in China, where anger over lax standards is growing. Three decades of swift economic growth have been marred by incidents ranging from mining disasters to factory fires.
Two injured workers were taken to hospital soon after the 7 a.m. accident in Fengcheng in Jiangxi province, during work on a cooling tower for the coal-fired power plant.
The company building the plant, Jiangxi Ganneng Co <000899.SZ>, confirmed the toll of 67 dead. In a stock exchange filing, it said it was cooperating with authorities.
Shares of Jiangxi Ganneng fell 3.7 percent on Thursday before trading was suspended. Shares will resume trading on Friday, the company said in its statement.
One trapped worker was rescued from the rubble, China News Service reported.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has ordered an investigation, demanding that those responsible for the accident should be held accountable, the central government said.
"Strengthen supervision and preventive measures, prevent such a major accident from happening again," it cited Li as saying in a statement on its website.
Third-phase construction at the coal-powered Fengcheng plant started earlier this year, state media said.
China has vowed to improve safety at such facilities. President Xi Jinping has said authorities would learn the lessons paid for with blood after chemical blasts in the port city of Tianjin killed more than 170 people last year.
Shortly after those explosions, Yang Dongliang was removed from his post as director of the State Administration of Work Safety, and later charged with corruption.
During his trial, which ended on Thursday, he admitted to taking bribes and gifts worth 28.5 million yuan ($4.12 million),
state television reported. He will be sentenced later, it added.
It was not immediately possible to reach Yang's legal representative for comment.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; additional reporting by Matthew Miller; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
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