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Preliminary findings of the cause of a blast that killed 21 in China is that a steam pipe bursting

Investigators say a high pressure steam pipe, which burst during a debugging process, caused an explosion which killed 21 at a Hubei power plant on Thursday.

The blast occurred at a plant still under construction in Dangyang City. In addition to the death toll, five people were injured, three critically. The high-pressure steam pipe burst, releasing steam which caused extensive damage to the plant’s main control panel and furniture in the room.

The plant, the Madian Gangue Power Generation Company, is affiliated with the state-backed Huaqiang Chemical Group.

The blast comes as the Tianjian warehouse explosions, which occurred on August 12, 2015, marked its first anniversary. At least 165 people were killed in the explosions

Top image for ilurstration purposes only, image by Shubert Ciencia – originally posted to Flickr as Power Plant (Tianjin, China).

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Neil Bibby was Chief Executive Officer of the Country Fire Authority between 2002 and 2009 and Managing Director People and Innovation