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February 2, 2012

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73 chemical firms closed

SEVENTY-THREE companies dealing with hazardous chemicals were shut down in Shanghai over past year and 15 relocated, city work safety authorities said yesterday.

It was part of a city drive to pull out of this sector due to safety concerns. This is set to continue this year.

"Tight measures will be taken this year," said Vice Mayor Ai Baojun, who supervises work safety in the city, in a meeting yesterday.

Ai said the government will crack down on the sale of banned chemical products this year.

Chemical industry safety frequently made the headlines last year, with a series of fires and explosions in industry zones in Pudong's Gaoqiao area.

No one was injured in the incidents.

Poor equipment and lax management were to blame for two fires in September, the work safety authorities said yesterday.

On September 9, gas leaked after bolt broke from a pipe and led to an explosion at an ethylene plant. On September 23, a fire broke out at a refinery.

Meanwhile the work safety authorities said yesterday that 1,250 people died in traffic accidents, fires, work and construction accidents last year - a drop of more than 11 percent on 2010.


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