Child dies in blast at factory

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 January, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 January, 1996, 12:00am

A SIX-YEAR-OLD child labourer was among three people killed in an explosion at an illegal firecracker factory in Guangdong, fire services authorities confirmed last night.

At least 18 workers were injured in the blast at midday on Sunday, said a fire services officer in Maoming city, west Guangdong.

'Somebody had violated rules on production procedures and the explosion followed,' said the man, who identified himself as Mr He.

The blast flattened three single-storey buildings in the complex, which was operating illegally in Meijiang management district.

The factory had defied orders to stop operations and had hired child labourers.

'The wealth gap in the district is quite high, and some children perhaps obtained casual work in the factory on Sundays to earn some money,' Mr He said.

The factory owner was detained.

Seven people have been jailed for between two and seven years over a fire in an Urumqi dance hall last April which killed 52 people.