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11 workers killed in building blast

[ 2009-03-12 14:08]     字号 [] [] []  
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Eleven workers building an express railway between Shanghai and Beijing were killed in an explosion yesterday morning. The explosion was allegedly caused by aluminum powder.

At 1:45 am, the middle part of a U-shaped dormitory building, about 2 km away from the construction site in Huiji village, Lucheng town of Danyang, was blown up, killing 11 and injuring 20. The dormitory is home to hundreds of workers.

"There was a huge bang, jolting us awake," said a 37-year-old worker surnamed Feng from Henan province who lives in the left wing of the building.

"There was a small fire and we rushed into the debris to pull out people," he told China Daily yesterday.

Police and firemen arrived about 40 minutes later, he said.

A local villager surnamed Wang said the whole village heard the explosion. "The glass windows of neighboring houses were shattered to pieces and a window pane of another house about 10 to 20 m away dropped as well," he said.

Zhang Liugou, director of the local public security bureau, said that the explosion tore down a part of the building, home to 48 workers, mostly from Guizhou province.

Seventeen workers were asked to step out of the building to haul iron bars to the construction site minutes before the explosion. Eleven people, including a contractor, died on the site or soon after being rushed to local hospitals.

Ye Wenzao, another worker from Taizhou, said most of the 48 housed in the site began working only about 20 days ago. "They were carpenters," he said.

Xiao Quan, the provincial government's spokesman, said that the 20 injured were in stable condition.

"Aluminum powder left in the building caused the explosion," Xiao said. "The building used to be an aluminum producing factory." Xiao said that the explosion might have been caused by humidity or the substance catching fire. "We are still investigating the cause," he said.

The building housed a garment factory after the aluminum plant moved. It was turned into an apartment for workers after the garment factory moved from it.

It was not clarified if traces of powdered aluminum remained in any other part of the building.

The excavation work was completed by 4 pm. Feng and his fellow workers did not move out. "We have not been asked to leave yet," he said. "But I am so afraid to have to sleep here now."


1. What was the explosion allegedly caused by?

2. What province do most of the workers come from?

3. Before being turned into an apartment for workers, what two things was the building home to?


1. Aluminum powder.

2. Guizhou.

3. A garment factory and an aluminum plant.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

11 workers killed in building blast

About the broadcaster:

11 workers killed in building blast

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.