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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 April 2007, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Molten metal kills China workers
At least 32 people have died at a steel factory in China, after being showered with molten metal.

The accident happened at a plant in Tieling, in the north-eastern province of Liaoning, according to the state news agency Xinhua.

A container of steel split in two and spilled the metal onto workers who had gathered for a meeting, Xinhua said.

Rescuers were unable to get close to the scene, because of the intense heat radiated by the liquid metal.

An investigation is reportedly under way, but no details have yet been released.

River of metal

The accident happened when a steel ladle, with a capacity to hold 30 tonnes of liquid metal, separated from the blast furnace.

Molten metal spilled onto the factory floor below, and flowed into an adjacent room where the meeting was taking place, the State Work Safety Administration said in a report.

All 32 people in the room were killed, while two ladle operators were injured, the administration said.

Industrial accidents reportedly killed more than 127,000 people in China in 2005.

In 2006, the government said it would spend nearly $60bn over the next five years to reduce the high death toll in coal mines and other dangerous workplaces.

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