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Beijing, Dec 31: Seventeen people were killed and 33 injured in a massive explosion at a factory in south China’s Guangdong Province today. The blast at Fuwa Engineering Machinery Manufacturing Co Ltd in the Shunde District of the industrial city of Foshan was heard several miles away. The blast left a large hole in the factory roof and the ground was splattered with blood, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Also Read - India's August Crude Steel Output Falls 4%, China Logs 8% Rise

The blast took place when the factory was closed for cleaning, and that the cause of the incident is under investigation, local officials said. Among the injured, 16 sustained serious injuries and three remain in a life-threatening condition, it said. Fuwa, founded in 1997, is a global trailer axle and chassis component manufacturer. It was expected to invest 2.26 billion yuan (USD 370 million) to build its headquarters in Foshan. Also Read - With no Respite at India-China Border, Indian Army Gets Combat Ready For Long Winters in Ladakh

“The accident reflects issues in safety supervision,” Bang Min, a local official, said. “We all think big companies normally do better in safety management but never suspect they are more likely to have accidents,” he said. The State Administration of Work Safety said recently that the country’s work safety record was still poor despite improvements in recent years. Around 57,000 people were killed in 2,69,000 accidents in the first 11 months this year.

On Monday, China’s State Council said 35 officials, including a deputy governor and a mayor, would be punished over a factory blast that left 146 dead in Jiangsu Province in August.