Chinese poultry plant fire kills 119

A poultry processing fire in China's northeast has killed at least 119 people.

The fire broke out at the Baoyuan poultry plant in Dehui in Jilin province around 6am on Monday, when 300 workers were on-site.

Xinhua has reported that emergency workers were uncertain as to how many people were trapped inside, but has confirmed at least 119 people have died.

State broadcaster CCTV said on Monday that the cause of the fire wasn't clear, but eyewitnesses reportedly heard a blast and suspected a leak of liquid ammonia, while others have mentioned an electric spark in the plant.

Xinhua has since reported that the fire could have been sparked by three explosions in the early morning.

According to Yahoo! News, the fire – the third major blaze to be reported in China in the past four days –  was one of China's worst recent industrial disasters, with the death toll the highest since a 2008 mining cave-in which killed 281.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the Baoyuan poultry plant began operations in 2009, employs 3,000 people and produces 67,000t of meat per year, sold nationwide.

Despite recent efforts to improve conditions, Monday's fire has put the spotlight on China's lax industrial safety standards, with many of China's factories springing up in recent decades to drive rapid economic growth.


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