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19 killed in China chemical plant blast

Gorkha Post

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BEIJING — At least nineteen people have been killed and 12 other injured in an explosion at a chemical plant in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan, local authorities said on Friday,the latest deadly industrial incident in the world’s largest producer of chemicals.

It comes amid a drive to strengthen industrial safety, with China ramping up checks over the last year, in the wake of some high-profile incidents at coal mines and chemical plants.

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The explosion happened at 6.30pm on Thursday in an industrial zone in Jiangan county, according to a statement issued by the Sichuan Industry Safety Supervision Administration.

None of those injured were in a critical condition, the cause of which is under investigation, the statement said.

Footage from state television channel CCTV showed heavy smoke rising from the factory, which was owned by the Hengda Science and Technology Company.

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Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wins presidency

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MALE — Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has beaten incumbent Abdulla Yameen according to provisional results, the country’s Elections Commission says.

Results released by the Elections Commission showed Mr Solih securing 133,808 votes (58.3 percent) compared to the 95,526 for incumbent Abdulla Yameen. The voter turnout was over 88 per cent out of the 262,000-strong electorate.

The Maldives government has acknowledged the opposition’s victory after the vote on Sunday, a surprise defeat for President Abdulla Yameen who was widely expected to win.

There were no other candidates.

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Mr Solih had the backing of a united opposition trying to oust Mr Yameen, but struggled for visibility with the electorate, with local media fearful of falling afoul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.

“I call on Yameen to respect the will of the people and bring about a peaceful, smooth transfer of power,” Solih said on television, shortly after interim results from the country’s election commission.

“We have won this election with a comfortable majority,” Solih said.

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