China Poultry Plant Fire In Jilin Province Kills 119; Scores Injured

on June 03 2013 2:39 AM
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Chickens are seen at a poultry farm on the outskirts of Shanghai April 16, 2013. Reuters/Aly Song

 

Update: The death toll in a fiery blaze that engulfed a poultry plant in Northeast China, on Monday, climbed to 119 with several dozens injured, state media reported. The provincial fire department linked the fire to three blasts caused by an ammonia leak, AP reported. The exact number of people unaccounted for is yet to be determined, Xinhua said.

A fierce blaze at a poultry processing plant in China’s northeast province of Jilin on Monday morning killed at least 119 people, state media reported.

More than 300 laborers were inside the building when the fire broke out at around 6:00 a.m., official news agency Xinhua reported.

The building is a slaughterhouse owned by the Jilin Baoyuanfeng Poultry Company located in Mishazi township of Dehui city, the report said.

About 100 people escaped from the plant, but “complicated interior structure” of the building and “narrow exits” posed challenges to firefighters, Xinhua said.

The death toll is likely to rise as firefighters were unable to bring the fire under control as of 12:00 noon local time on Monday.

Chinese media reports suggest that an electric spark may have led to the fire while survivors told Xinhua they heard a loud bang before the fire started.

“Photos from the scene posted on Chinese news websites showed thick smoke billowing from the cement and corrugated iron sheds,” South China Morning Post reported.

A total of 1,200 people work at the plant, the China News Service reported.