At least 40 dead in China construction site collapse

Updated: 
China Tower Collapse


At least 40 people have been killed and more are feared trapped in a scaffolding collapse at a construction site in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangxi.

A work platform at a power plant cooling tower being built in the city of Fengcheng came tumbling down at about 7.30am local time on Thursday, an official with the local Work Safety Administration said.

He put the confirmed death toll at 22 but the official Xinhua News Agency said that figure had risen to at least 40 by midday, while an unknown number of others were still trapped in the debris.

Fengcheng power plant
Rescuers at work on the site of the collapse (Wan Xiang/Xinhua via AP)

Television footage and photographs from the site showed iron pipes and wooden planks strewn across the floor of the massive concrete cooling tower.

China has suffered a series of major industrial accidents over recent months blamed on corruption, disregard for safety and pressure to boost production amid a slowing economy.

The head of a logistics company was recently given a suspended death sentence over a massive explosion at an illegal chemical warehouse in the northern port of Tianjin last year that killed 173 people, most of them firefighters and police officers.

Cruise ship
The cruise ship that capsized in June 2015 (Andy Wong/AP)

In June 2015, 442 people were killed when a modified cruise ship capsized on the Yangtze River, blamed on poor decisions made by the captain and crew.

And 81 people were killed in December when an enormous man-made mountain of soil and waste collapsed on nearly three dozen buildings in the southern manufacturing centre of Shenzhen.