UPDATE: 04:58 p.m. EST — The death toll in the China construction site accident has risen to 67, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Five people were injured and several were trapped after a work platform collapsed at a power plant’s cooling tower in eastern China’s Jiangxi province Thursday morning.
Over 200 rescue personnel are at the scene helping people trapped under a pile of iron pipes and debris, the local fire department reportedly said. The $1.1 billion power plant is scheduled for completion in 2018.
At least 40 people died and many were injured when a platform collapsed at a construction site in eastern China’s Jiangxi province Thursday morning. Several people are believed to be still trapped in the collapsed scaffolding, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
At around 7:30 a.m. local time Thursday (06:30 p.m. EST Wednesday), a work platform at a power plant’s cooling tower collapsed in Fengcheng city, a local Work Safety Administration official told the Associated Press. The total number of construction workers at the massive tower at the time of the accident is still unknown and rescue operations are underway. Television footage of the construction site showed iron pipes and wooden planks strewn across the floor of the concrete cooling tower.
Such accidents are a relatively frequent occurrence at construction sites in China where three decades of swift economic growth has been marred by tragedies ranging from mining disasters to factory fires.
China vowed to improve its safety standards in wake of the Tianjin explosions a year ago which left 173 people dead. A series of explosions at a massive chemical warehouse at the port city in northern China in August 2015 was labeled the worst disaster for Chinese first responders. The blasts left over 100 first responders, including police officers and fire fighters, dead.