Story by the Associated Press; curated by Oliver Darcy.
UPDATE: Sixty-eight people were killed and nearly 200 others injured, most with severe burns, after an explosion Saturday at an automotive parts factory in eastern China that supplies General Motors, officials said.
It was China’s most serious industrial disaster since a fire at a poultry plant killed 119 people in June last year.
Saturday morning’s explosion occurred when more than 200 workers were on the site of the factory, which is in an industrial zone in the city of Kunshan, officials from the city said at a news conference televised by state broadcaster CCTV. Kunshan, in Jiangsu province, is about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) southeast of Beijing.
CCTV showed footage shot by residents of large plumes of thick, black smoke rising from the plant. Several firefighting trucks were shown in the factory compound. News websites posted photos showing survivors or those who were killed being lifted onto the back of large trucks, their bodies black, presumably from burns or soot.
Some survivors were seen sitting on wooden cargo platforms on the road outside the factory or being carried into ambulances, their clothes apparently burned off and their skin exposed.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 2, 2014
The explosion occurred at 7:37 a.m. at a workshop in the factory, which polishes wheel hubs. Rescuers pulled out 44 bodies at the site, while 24 other people died at a hospital, officials said. At least 187 people were injured.
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state media say an explosion at a workshop in an eastern Chinese city has killed between 40 and 65 people.
State broadcaster CCTV says in a brief report that the blast in Kunshan city on Saturday morning left 65 people dead.
— CCTVNEWS (@cctvnews) August 2, 2014
The official Xinhua News Agency says it occurred at 7:37 a.m. at a car polishing workshop of a metal products company.
Xinhua says more than 40 people have died and more than 120 people have been injured.
Officials are investigating the cause of the blast and working on rescue efforts and providing medical treatment.
Calls to the city’s government and police rang unanswered. A man who answered the phone at the city’s work safety bureau said he did not receive any information on the blast.
This story has been updated.