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Workers' safety a priority, says Li

By AN BAIJIE | China Daily | Updated: 2013-06-06 01:27

Premier calls for probe into blaze that killed 120 at plant in Jilin

Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday that workers' safety must be guaranteed and called for a thorough probe of the fire that killed 120 people in Jilin province on Monday.

Those responsible for the accident must be strictly punished in line with the law, Li said during a regular executive meeting of the State Council.

The fire broke out at 6:06 am on Monday at a poultry processing plant in Mishazi township of Dehui city, which is around 100 km northeast of the provincial capital of Changchun.

More than 300 workers were in the plant when the fire began. Seventy-seven people were injured, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Shortly after the accident, the premier ordered local authorities to prioritize life-saving efforts.

The authorities should provide medical services to the injured, prevent secondary disasters and compensate victims' families, Li said at Wednesday's meeting.

On Monday, the State Council sent an investigation team, led by head of the State Administration of Work Safety Yang Dongliang, to investigate the cause of the accident.

Government departments should learn lessons from the accident and pay more attention to work safety, Li said.

He pointed out that lots of loopholes and problems in work safety management remain at many places and factories, and the government must enhance supervision of safety problems.

Government authorities should keep in mind that work safety is fundamental for the sustainable and healthy growth of the economy, Li said, adding that more efforts should be made to prevent serious accidents.

The premier called for a thorough nationwide check on work safety and the establishment of a long-term mechanism to get rid of hidden threats to work safety.

Those who violate the rules and regulations on work safety must be punished in accordance with the law, and places where accidents frequently occur should be exclusively monitored, Li said.

Some key industries, such as coal mining, should be more closely monitored to ensure work safety. More measures should be taken to prevent disasters from happening during the upcoming rainy season, Li said.

He vowed to promote government efficiency and strictly punish companies and officials responsible for serious accidents.

Workers, especially those serving in high-risk industries, should be trained to improve work safety, the premier said.


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