Construction site collapse kills at least 22 in East China

At least 22 people have been killed and an unknown number of others are reportedly trapped in a scaffolding collapse Thursday morning at a construction site in eastern China, authorities say.

A work platform at power plant cooling tower being built in the city of Fengcheng in Jiangxi province came tumbling down at about 7:30 a.m. (2330 GMT Wednesday), an official with the local Work Safety Administration said by telephone. Two other workers were reported injured but there was no immediate word on the fate of those trapped.

Television footage and photographs from the site show iron pipes and wooden planks strewn across the floor of the massive concrete cooling tower.

China has suffered a series of major industrial accidents over recent months blamed on corruption, disregard for safety and pressure to boost production amid a slowing economy.

The head of a logistics company was recently handed a suspended death sentence over a massive explosion at an illegal chemical warehouse in the northern port of Tianjin last year that killed 173 people, most of them firefighters and police officers.

In June 2015, 442 people were killed in the capsize on the Yangtze River of a cruise ship that had been modified without proper authorization, while 81 people were killed in December when an enormous, man-made mountain of soil and waste collapsed on nearly three dozen buildings in the southern manufacturing center of Shenzhen.