13 die in China fireworks blast

A massive explosion ripped through a fireworks factory in China today killing at least 13 workers.

A massive explosion ripped through a fireworks factory in China today killing at least 13 workers.

Around 50 people were in the factory in the city of Yichun in Heilongjiang province when the blast struck.

A total of 148 were injured by the blast, which could be felt up to two miles away.

Safety is lax at Chinese fireworks plants, and accidents are common. Dozens of people also die each year from unsafe handling of fireworks while celebrating weddings and traditional holidays.

Meanwhile 11 people died when a lift plunged 12 storeys in the city of Meihekou in the north-eastern province of Jilin.

Although deadly accidents persist, China has placed an increasing emphasis on improving industrial safety.

Fatalities in the country’s notoriously dangerous coal mines decreased to 2,631 last year, compared with a peak of 6,995 deaths in 2002, according to official figures.

That works out to 7.2 deaths a day in 2009, down from 19.1 a day in 2002.

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