119 Trapped Workers Die in Poultry Plant Inferno

China plant's gate was locked when fire broke out
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2013 1:18 AM CDT
Updated Jun 3, 2013 7:01 AM CDT
Smoke rises from a poultry farm at the Jilin Baoyuanfeng Poultry Company in Mishazi township of Dehui City, northeast China's Jilin Province.   (AP Photo/Xinhua, Wang Haofei)

(Newser) – At least 119 workers were killed and dozens more injured when fire swept through a poultry plant in northeast China early today, trapping workers inside a slaughterhouse, the AP reports. Surviving workers say the gate was locked when the fire broke out. A loud bang was heard before the fire and the surrounding area has been evacuated because of the risk of ammonia leakage. Firefighters took six hours to bring the blaze, which destroyed much of the facility, under control.

"I started working at 6am along with another 100 workers in my workshop. There were two workshops in the plant," a woman who suffered burns while escaping the inferno tells Xinhua. "Soon after, someone shouted 'run away!' and we quickly ran to the exit," she says. "Suddenly, the lights inside went out and the plant got quite dark." (Read more China stories.)

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