Shanghai Cites Pipe in Deadly Ammonia Accident at Warehouse
Pipe leakage at a frozen-seafood plant was responsible for an ammonia leak that killed 15 people yesterday, the Shanghai government said following an initial probe into the accident.
The city’s worst accident in almost three years also injured 25 workers of Shanghai Weng’s Cold Storage Industrial Co. They are in stable condition, according to a statement on the city’s official Sina Weibo site. Investigators are examining buildings, equipment installation and daily monitoring and have hired professional organizations to audit the relevant equipment, it said.
Shanghai has started a city-wide safety check on companies that use liquid ammonia, according to the statement.
The accident comes three months after a blaze triggered by leaked ammonia in Jilin province killed 120 people. In that accident on June 3, a leak of liquid ammonia at a poultry plant in Dehui city caused an explosion that triggered the fire at a 17-acre facility. The incident prompted President Xi Jinping to order an investigation and pledge punishment for those responsible.
Most of the injured were migrant workers from neighboring Jiangsu province, who were employed less than a month ago and hadn’t been fully trained, the Beijing Times reported. Xiong Weiguo, a director at the Work Safety Administration, declined to comment on the report, pending the results of the investigation, which he said could take one or two months.
Four calls to the company went unanswered and its website was inaccessible today.
The 2010 fire in Shanghai was at a building undergoing renovations that was covered with scaffolding made of flammable nylon netting and bamboo. It was started by sparks from unlicensed electric welders and exacerbated by high winds, firefighters said at the time. Police detained at least 12 people.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stanley James at email@example.com