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Woman diesin box blast

A POWER distribution box exploded and killed a waste collector in Zhabei District yesterday.

Witnesses said the woman, believed to be in her 30s, was trying to pull wires from the distribution box when she was electrocuted.

The Zhabei police said the building should have been made secure and the case was being investigated.

The explosion happened in a derelict three-story building which used to be a bathing club on Wanrong Road about 12:40pm yesterday. A group of waste collectors were tearing down iron fences outside the building when the accident happened.

Several sacks filled with iron bars were left outside the building.

"They were scared and ran away without taking their loot after the explosion," said a worker in the neighboring gas station.

"There were about eight people who had been coming here picking stuff frequently since no one was taking care of the building," he said.

Liu Jiqiao, a worker in a food store opposite the building, said: "I was having my lunch when I heard the huge sound, and everyone in my store was shocked."

Liu said the group came to the building about 5:30am and started to strike the power distribution box after tearing off all the iron fences.

Authorities said the power had not been cut off and the explosion was caused by a short circuit triggered by the woman.

Thefts by waste collectors have been endangering the public safety and damaging the city's image for years.

Recent cases include the theft of two bronze statues two weeks ago. They were thrown into a river in Zhabei District.

Last week a manhole cover in front of a supermarket in Yangpu District was stolen which endangered customers.

Last month, a manhole cover was stolen on Laifang Road in Songjiang District, which caused a car to get stuck in the middle of the road.

Also last month, a 22-year-old man climbed up a pole trying to steal wires. He suffered serious burns.


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