DEHUI, China - Relatives of workers killed as fire swept through a poultry slaughterhouse in rural northeast China blocked traffic and scuffled with police on Tuesday demanding answers to one of China's worst industrial disasters in recent years. At least 120 people died.
A handful of men and woman knelt in the middle of the road in Dehui in Jilin province to stop cars, while a crowd of more than 100 people gathered around them. Police dispersed the protesters after about an hour.
Zhao Zhenchun, who lost both his wife and his sister in the fire, said human error was to blame for the death toll. "I don't think safety was being managed properly. This should never happen again. They paid the price with their blood. So many of these big disasters in China are caused by lax supervision," he said.
State news agency Xinhua said those suspected of being responsible for the accident had been taken into police custody for further inquiries. It did not elaborate.
Local police said ammonia gas leaks could have caused the explosions in the plant, the Chinese News Service said. The slaughterhouse is owned by Jilin Baoyuanfeng Poultry Co, a small local feed and poultry producer.