An explosion at an automotive parts factory in China that supplies General Motors left 68 dead and 187 injured Saturday, local officials said, in the nation's deadliest industrial accident in more than a year.
The blast hit at 7:37 a.m. local time inside a wheel hub polishing workshop at a factory run by the Kunshan Zhongrong Metal Products Co. Ltd. in Kunshan city in east China's Jiangsu province, state news agency Xinhua reported.
A preliminary investigation suggests the blast followed a flame being lit in a dust-filled room, local officials said at a press conference Saturday evening, where Kunshan Mayor Lu Jun wept over the tragedy.
More than 250 people were at the site Saturday when the explosion occurred. Forty-four were killed immediately, and another 24 died en route to the hospital or after medial treatment failed, officials said. More than 130 of the injured were transferred to hospitals in the nearby cities of Suzhou, Wuxi, Nantong and Shanghai, Xinhua reported.