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Dozens Killed In Scaffolding Collapse At Construction Site In China

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, rescue workers look for survivors after a work platform collapsed at a power plant in eastern China's Jiangxi Province on Thursday.

Scaffolding at a construction site in eastern China collapsed Thursday morning, killing at least 74 workers, Chinese state media reported.

Two workers were reportedly injured and one is still missing.

The accident happened around 7:30 a.m. local time when "the platform of a power plant's cooling tower under construction collapsed in Fengcheng, east China's Jiangxi Province," Xinhua News said.

The Associated Press reported:

"About 500 rescue workers, including paramilitary police officers, were digging through the debris with their hands, according to state broadcaster CCTV. It showed debris strewn across the floor of the cavernous, 165-meter (545-foot) -high concrete cooling tower, in the middle of which stood an unfinished structure.

"Rescue dogs were seeking to locate survivors or the bodies of victims, while backhoes shifted wreckage to the margins of the massive round tower."

State media said that President Xi Jinping "urged local authorities to step up efforts of rescue, treatment and follow-up work."

The scaffolding collapse is the latest in a series of deadly accidents in China that have been blamed on hasty construction and lax safety standards.

Earlier this month, 33 miners in southwest China were killed after a gas explosion. In August 2015, two explosions at a warehouse in the port city of Tianjin killed dozens. In December 2015, a massive man-made pile of dirt and debris swept away three buildings and killed more than 80 people in southern China.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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