11 factory workers injured in furnace explosion in northern Vietnam

TN News

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Eleven workers were burnt or injured by flying shards of glass, three of them severely, when a furnace exploded and caused a fire at a polyester firm in Thai Binh Province in northern Vietnam early Wednesday.

Police said there were no fatalities since the workers were immediately rushed to hospital.

But doctors at the Vietnam National Institute of Burns in Hanoi said three are in serious condition since they have deep burns on 90 percent of their bodies and their respiratory systems are affected.

The eight worst cases were sent to the hospital 110 kilometers away.

Hop Thanh Company in the Nguyen Duc Canh Industrial Zone in the provincial capital Thai Binh, where they work, has paid the hospital VND500 million (US$24,000) for the treatment, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.

The injured, all between 21 and 38 -- including a 25-year-old woman -- were among 15 workers at the factory at the time.

The police said they were injured when an oil leak ignited a fire after a furnace exploded, possibly because of a problem in a gas pipe. The fire raged for an hour.

Glass doors and windows on many floors of the factory exploded, sending shards flying, injuring several of the workers.

Some broke their legs after trying to jump from the second floor.

Officials from the Ministry of Public Security arrived at the scene for further investigation.

Workplace accidents have been occurring frequently in Vietnam of late, including a fatal one on March 9 when two workers were killed in another furnace explosion at the Vietnam-Korea Steel and Iron Corporation in Hanoi.

City labor authorities have accused the company of covering up the accident by burying the bodies, disturbing the accident scene, and failing to report the accident until the police found out two days later.

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