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At least 67 dead in China after scaffolding at power plant collapses

Workers search through the remains of a collapsed platform in a cooling tower at a power station at Fengcheng, in China's Jiangxi province on November 24, 2016. At least 40 people were killed when part of a power station under construction in China collapsed on November 24, the official Xinhua news agency reported, the latest industrial accident in a country with a dismal safety record.

At least 67 Chinese workers were killed after scaffolding collapsed at the Fengcheng Power Plant in eastern China on Thursday, state media outlet Xinhua reported.

The scaffolding was on a cooling tower being built at the power plant in the the city of Fengcheng in Jiangxi province, with Xinhua reporting that more than 60 people were working on the platform and another dozen were on the ground waiting for their shift to start at 7 a.m. when the collapse occurred.

Three workers were injured and are being treated in hospital, one in critical condition.

Wang Yaosheng, who was waiting to begin his shift, ran away when he saw the falling platform but was slightly injured, he told Xinhua.

"Several elevators collapsed. All those on the platform fell and were crushed by the steel bars and other materials," he said to the Chinese news outlet. "I was shocked."

A rescue team searches for survivors after the collapse of a power plant platform being built on November 24, 2016 in Fengcheng, Jiangxi Province of China.
VCG | Getty Images

Thirty-two fire engines and 212 firefighters were deployed to the scene, the Jiangxi provincial fire department said on its official Weibo microblog, according to an AP report.

Industrial accidents are relatively common in China because of lax standards over three decades of turbo-charged growth although authorities have pledged to do more to improve workplace safety.

Xinhua said that President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang had urged local authorities to spare no effort in dealing with the accident.

The media outlet said that the plant was owned by Jiangxi Ganneng, a state-owned company listed in Shenzhen. Trading in its shares was suspended on Thursday after the accident.

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