2000 June 30th. -- China, Guangdong province: fire in
a fireworks factory; at least 36 people died.
The death toll in the explosion of a fireworks factory in
Jiangmen on Friday has risen to 36 with more than 160 injured.
The explosion, happened at 8:05 am, leveled the 3,200 square-metre
factory. More than 1,000 police and fire fighters and 16
fire trucks were dispatched to the scene.
Surrounding fireworks producers have been ordered to cease
operation for inspections by city and State officials investigating
Led by the vice-mayor of Jiangmen, He Xiansong, the Jiangmen
municipal government has established seven special task
forces to handle compensation to victims' families and other
affairs in the aftermath.
The fireworks factory was owned by a foreign trade company
of Jiangmen and operated by Hong Kong business people.
The operators have agreed to compensate the families. Initial
compensations worth 500,000 yuan (US$60,240) have been sent
The vice-mayor said the local government is busy negotiating
with the victims' families for the amounts of compensation
and identifications of the deaths.
He said the compensation issue will be handled in accordance
with relevant laws and regulations, such as the 58th Order
of the Guangdong Provincial Government, the 70th Regulation
of Labour Law and the Industrial Insurance Regulations of
Guangdong Province which were issued in 1998.
Two deputy managers of the factory have been arrested by
local police for further investigation into the accident.
Guangdong Governor Lu Ruihua has required all fireworks
factories and lighter firms in the southern Chinese province
to stop production for anti-fire inspections during a fire
prevention and production safety conference held in Jiangmen
Mayors and officials in charge of fire prevention from
22 cities in Guangdong were required to attend the conference.
Besides the high-profile officials from Guangdong Province,
officials from the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry
of Supervision, the State Commission for Safety Production
and the All China Federation of Trade Unions also took part
in the meeting.
Guangdong, which fringes Hong Kong and Macao, registers
a total of 408 fireworks factories and 55 lighter companies