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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 May, 2004, 08:29 GMT 09:29 UK
Garlic shelf collapse kills 15
Rescue workers help a wounded person from the warehouse where shelves collapsed
Rescuers worked into the night to pull out the shelf stackers
Fifteen Chinese workers were killed when storage shelves stacked high with garlic collapsed in central China.

Some 34 workers were buried by tonnes of garlic after 10-metre (30 foot) high shelving broke at Chenzhai Cold Storage in Zhengzhou city, Henan province.

Xinhua news agency said a major rescue operation was launched - with 15 bodies recovered and 19 people pulled out alive and taken to hospitals.

The owner of the cold storage warehouse is being held by police, said Xinhua.

Chinese newspapers said the accident happened on Wednesday morning as the workers were stacking garlic cloves.

Rescuers worked throughout the day and into the night to dig out the workers weighed down by the garlic and metal beams.

The cause of the accident is under investigation, according to local sources.

Thousands of people are killed by accidents at work in China every year.

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