Deadly explosion at Chinese metal factory kills at least 68, injures 187

By Kyle Johnson,

A deadly explosion ripped through an eastern China metal products factory on Saturday, killing at least 68 people and injuring nearly 200 others.

Chinese media was reporting that at least 187 people suffered injuries in the factory, which is located in Kunshan, The New York Times reports. Many of those injured were young workers at the factory just starting their work day.

The Zhongrong-owned factory polishes metal wheel rims for China's automotive industry. Five factory supervisors were questioned over possible criminal negligence.

While the explosion is still under investigation, it is believed that sparks may have ignited accumulated metallic dust. The blast killed nearly 40 people immediately, while others died while being transported to hospitals, hospital employees told People's Daily.

According to The Associated Press, Saturday's factory explosion is the worst industrial accident in over a year. A fire in 2013 at a poultry plant resulted in the deaths of 119 people.

The Zhongrong factory, which is reportedly a Taiwanese company, provides supplies to General Motors, the car manufacturer said, "We can confirm Zongrong is a supplier to GM's global supplier DiCastal."

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