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November 18, 2010

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Worker negligence led to factory blast

THE explosion of a steam autoclave machine, which damaged a nearby section of Metro Line 9 on November 7 in Songjiang District, was caused by worker negligence, a report from the Shanghai Work Safety Administration has revealed.

The workers failed to check whether the autoclave lid was fastened securely before allowing steam to enter the machine, causing the lid to shoot out of their workshop, said a report from the local safety watchdog on Tuesday.

The lid of the autoclave crashed into a pillar of the elevated track of Line 9 - 100 meters north of the factory.

The lid, weighing around 2 tons, caused severe damage to the supporting pillar, and the operation of Line 9 was severely disrupted while emergency repair work was done.

Five workers at the scene were injured in the accident, two seriously. One suffered severe burns while the other sustained injuries to his head, chest and arms. The current condition of the two men is not yet known.

It was lucky that the accident happened at 1:50am and no trains were in service, Wang Bin, an official with the Metro line, was quoted as saying.

Whether the workers at the scene or others involved have been detained by police is unknown.


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