Jinshan fire caused by worker negligence

No one was injured in last week's blaze, but the workers involved have been detained.

A fire that broke out in a factory plant in suburban Jinshan District last week was caused by worker negligence, the area's fire department has concluded on Monday.

Several steel workers were using a flame cutter to scrap diesel pumps when the fire began on the morning of March 20. It was soon put out without injury.

Although the fire was not severe, it generated heavy smoke because of rubber products stored in the plant that ignited. 

Firefighters were able to remove six oxygen cylinders — used to increase the flame temperature while cutting — that were lying on the ground near the blaze.

The owner of the factory said he asked the workers to cut the machines into pieces to make them easier to transport away from the location. But the workers lacked professional experience with the flame cutter used, and diesel that remained in one of the pumps ignited due to the heat.

“Usually diesel is not inflammable in liquid state,” an officer from the district fire department said. “But once vaporized it would become extremely inflammable.” 

The remaining dregs were left in the machine for so long that they started to vaporize.

The three workers were detained for 10 days due to "improper use of fire" and "faulty operation of equipment." Further investigation is ongoing.

Ti Gong

Firefighters covered a diesel pump with foam to cool it down during the blaze.

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