TWENTY-ONE people died and at least five others were injured, most of whom critically, after a broken steam pipe caused a huge explosion at a power plant on thursday in central china's hubei PROVINCE.
The blast occurred at Madian Gangue Power Generation Co. Ltd. in Dangyang City around 3:20 p.m. on Thursday, when workers were testing thermo-power facilities.
The high-pressure steam pipe burst and caused the blast, a preliminary investigation showed.
Du Qiuxin, a villager who lives about one kilometer from the plant, said there was a loud bang when the blast occurred.
"I rushed out to check what happened. The area was quickly sealed off and many police and firemen came," she said.
The plant only started operation this year and its facilities are still undergoing testing, local authorities said.
The power plant was built by the Huaqiang chemical plant along with other companies, according to an employee of the Huaqiang chemical plant, who declined to be named.
The fatal blast left a scene of destruction, with distorted pipes, wires and window panes, shattered computer screens in the control room, and a few helmets of workers and their clothes strewn on the ground.
A total of 21 people died and five others are injured, three of whom are critically wounded, with burns and internal organ damage.
One of the critically injured, surnamed Liu, 32, is receiving treatment at the Dangyang People's Hospital. He had worked for the Huaqiang chemical plant for nine years.
"He began the work at the power plant just a month ago. It is a huge blow to the family. His father died last year and his daughter is only eight years old," said Liu's uncle.
The State Administration of Work Safety has sent a work group to oversee rescue operation and investigation.