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Safety second as profit drive compromises China's factories

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Safety second as profit drive compromises China's factories


An investigation is underway to discover the cause of the deadly factory blaze that left at least 116 people dead in north-eastern China. State media blamed the explosions that sparked the fire on an electrical problem and a chemical ammonia leak, a gas used as a coolant in meat processing plants.

China’s central government has drafted thousands of new health and safety rules, which are largely ignored by regional authorities in a bid to boost profits.

Workers and those that lost loved ones staged protests and confronted police.

The poultry plant was built in 2009 and firefighters describe the layout as difficult with very narrow exits.

It is China’s deadliest blaze since a nightclub fire killed 309 people on Christmas Day, 2000.

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