Explosions at auto-parts plant in China kills 17

UPDATED: 12/31/14 8:40 am ET

BEIJING (Bloomberg) -- A series of explosions at an auto-parts factory in southern China's Guangdong province killed 17 people and injured 20 others, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Blasts were heard at about 9:30 a.m. today from Fuwa Engineering Manufacturing Co.'s plant in the Shunde district of Foshan city, Xinhua reported, citing local authorities.

All of those injured were being treated at nearby hospitals, the news agency said. Safety practices at manufacturing plants drew nationwide attention after an Aug. 2 explosion at an auto-parts factory killed 75 people and injured more than 180 in the country's deadliest industrial disaster of the year.

The accident at Kunshan Zhongrong Metal Products Co.'s factory spurred the State Council, China's cabinet, to order a nationwide overhaul of safety practices at factories handling explosive materials.

Fuwa Engineering makes auto components including axles for trucks and buses, according to the company's website. The Xinhua report didn't provide details on the cause of the explosion.

The Southern Metropolitan Daily said the three blasts in Foshan were likely caused by a welding accident during maintenance work, and showed on its website several bodies laid out on the ground.

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