China govt orders better monitoring of dangerous goods after truck explosion on a highway that killed at least 19

Trucks are seen parked at the third annual truck festival in Malang, East Java, in February 2019. (JP/Aman Rochman). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

BEIJING, Jun 14, 2020, China Daily. The State Council Work Safety Committee on Sunday urged authorities to further step up efforts to supervise the transportation of dangerous goods after a truck loaded with liquefied gas exploded on a highway in East China’s Zhejiang province on Saturday killing at least 19, China Daily reported.

The accident occurred at around 4:46 pm Saturday when the tanker truck traveling from Ningbo to Wenzhou exploded near the village of Liangshan in Wenling city on a section of the Shenyang-Haikou Expressway, local authorities said.

A second blast happened when parts of the truck fell onto a workshop near the expressway. The explosions caused the collapse of some four-story residential buildings and factory workshops with people inside.

The death toll rose to 19 by 9 am on Sunday. A total number of 171 people were hospitalized, with 24 seriously injured, Zhu Minglian, deputy mayor of Wenling, said at a news conference on Sunday morning.

The explosion broke the windows of nearby houses and apartments. It also left a 10-meter crack on the highway. The accident has caused severe damage to people’s lives and properties. The search and rescue work is still underway while authorities are investigating the cause of the accident, Zhu said.

A special work group sent by the Ministry Emergency Management arrived at the scene in the early hours of Sunday. More than 547 people and six canines from local fire and rescue departments have been involved in the search and rescue mission. They managed to rescue 23 people, the ministry said in a statement released on Sunday morning.

The State Council Work Safety Committee also ordered the traffic police to impose tougher law enforcement to eliminate deadly safety hazards on the roads, the statement added.

In April, the committee published a three-year plan to better administrate work safety nationwide. According to the plan, it’s compulsory for all vehicles carrying dangerous materials to have trackers installed by 2022 to warn the drivers and administrators about possible collisions.

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