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Work safety probes launched nationwide

2017-03-31 07:55:00 (Beijing Time)         Chinadaily.com.cn

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Move started after 15 people were killed in recent accidents at construction sites

Chinese authorities are conducting work safety inspections at construction sites nationwide after two accidents killed 15 workers, a government official said on Thursday.

"There is still much to do to improve work safety at construction sites," said Li Rusheng, an official with the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.

Several serious accidents have occurred recently, including the collapse of up to 30 square meters of scaffolding at an aquatic park under construction in Macheng, Hubei province, on Monday afternoon, which killed six.

The collapse buried 15 workers, and six of the 12 that had been found as of 8 am on Wednesday were dead.

Rescuers wrapped up their search early on Thursday, but the government didn't disclose the condition of the other three people.

Hubei officials told a news conference on Wednesday that the park was being constructed without a building permit and there was no company supervising the project. Police have detained eight people in connection with the project.

In another case in the Guangdong provincial capital of Guangzhou, the work platform at a thermal power plant under construction collapsed on Saturday, killing nine and injuring two others.

Inspection teams were dispatched to guide rescue work after recent accidents, and a circular has also been issued to strengthen safety, according to a statement by the ministry on Thursday.

Many accidents and fatalities have been linked to sites with incomplete building permits or unregulated construction units, Li said, adding that the inspections are focusing on sites and projects deemed high risk.

This year, there have been 86 accidents at construction sites related to public housing projects, up 10.3 percent from a year ago, with 78 fatalities, an increase of 11.3 percent year-on-year, according to ministry figures.

The ministry will gradually improve safety standards, and identify and punish the parties responsible, Li said.

The ministry will also launch a three-year campaign to enhance construction quality across the country.

Xinhua contributed to this story.