14 jailed for Chinese factory explosion that killed 146

Beijing, Feb 3 (IANS) Fourteen people were on Wednesday sentenced to jail for various offences related to a 2014 explosion at a factory in China in which 146 people were killed.

The sentences ranged from three to seven-and-half years for the crimes of causing a major labour safety accident or dereliction of duty, Xinhua reported citing a publicity official of Suzhou city.

The owner and top managers of Kunshan Zhongrong Metal Products Co. Ltd., local fire-fighting officers and supervisors, and officials in charge of work safety supervision and environmental protection in Kunshan city were among those jailed.

The 14 stood trial in five different courts in Jiangsu province which announced the separate verdicts.

The blast occurred on August 2, 2014 at a wheel hub polishing workshop, killing 146 people and injuring 114 others.

The direct economic loss caused by the blast was estimated at 350 million yuan ($53.2 million), according to the official.

Investigators found that the explosion occurred after metal dust in the workshop ignited.

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