Elevator plunges 30 floors in central China, killing 19

WUHAN, CHINA (BNO NEWS) -- A platform elevator suddenly fell from the top of a high-rise building Thursday and slammed into the ground at a construction site in central China, killing all nineteen people on board, local authorities said. The cause was not immediately known.

The accident happened at around 1:30 p.m. local time on Thursday at the construction site of a 30-story building in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in central China, when the platform elevator suddenly dropped to the ground after nineteen people had entered it on the top floor.

A spokesperson for the provincial government said all people on board the elevator were killed, but the cause of the accident was not immediately known. Photos published by the state-run Xinhua news agency showed a number of bodies at the scene with the elevator virtually destroyed.

Most of the victims are believed to be construction workers who were working at the construction site in Wuhan, where several high-rise residential buildings are being constructed and nearing completion. An investigation into the cause of the accident is now underway, the provincial government said.

Earlier this year, in mid-March, an elevator fell out of control and slammed into the bottom of an iron ore mine in eastern China, killing the thirteen mine workers who were on board. And in another similar accident, eleven people were killed in August 2010 when an elevator plunged to the ground at the construction site of a hospital in northeastern China.

The rapid economic growth in China, in combination with poor safety measures, frequently result in deadly industrial accidents. Last month, thirteen people were killed and fourteen others were injured when a blast ripped through an illegal family-owned workshop in China's eastern Zhejiang province.

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