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February 15, 2019

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Beijing uni ordered to strengthen safety

Dereliction of duty has been blamed for a laboratory explosion at Beijing Jiaotong University that killed three students in December.

The explosion occurred on December 26 when students were conducting experiments. The three students died at the scene, according to the Beijing Emergency Management Bureau. An investigation showed the hydrogen generated in the experiments was ignited by a spark caused by metal friction in a mixer and exploded. That caused the magnesium dust nearby to explode and the surrounding combustibles to burn.

The investigation said the risky experiments were conducted against relevant regulations.

Dangerous chemicals were illegally purchased and stored in the lab, and the university failed to oversee the safety of the laboratories.

Li Desheng, director of the research project, and Zhang Qiong, manager of the laboratory, are under investigation for criminal negligence, according to public security authorities.

The Ministry of Education and Beijing Jiaotong University also punished 12 officials from the university.

All universities in Beijing have been ordered by local authorities to strengthen their safety procedures.


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