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China launches nationwide safety checks after deadly blast in Hubei

"China launches nationwide safety checks after deadly blast in Hubei", 14 June 2021

China’s central government has taken over rescue operations in response to a deadly blast in Hubei province on the weekend, the latest of a handful of disasters ahead of the Communist Party’s centenary next month.

At least 25 people were killed and more than 100 injured when a gas pipe exploded in a market in Shiyan on Sunday morning, prompting an order from President Xi Jinping for cadres to “stay vigilant and politically sensitive” in preventing major safety hazards.

Provincial authorities had been leading the rescue efforts and investigation but on Monday the State Council’s Work Safety Committee and the Ministry of Emergency Management met and decided to assume those responsibilities, according to an official notice. [...]

The blast is the latest in a series of major safety incidents that have resulted in high casualties.

Beijing responded each time by ordering all-out efforts in rescue operations, and for nationwide inspections against hidden risks, to prevent a repeat.

In his instructions on Sunday, Xi called on local governments to learn from Hubei’s painful lesson, ordered the explosion be investigated and those who were responsible for the accident to be held accountable. [...]

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