June 3, in China’s Jilin Province around 6:00 AM, explosions tore through a Baoyuanfeng Poultry owned slaughterhouse. The resulting fires and chemical leaks devastated the employees trapped within the building.
Multiple accounts by employees tell of locked doors, blacked out exit and escape routes, and utter, debilitating panic in the face of disaster. The doors were apparently barred during working hours, and workers forbidden to leave. This is tragically common in corporate penny-pinching operations. Sweatshop workers live and work in abhorrent conditions, and as is all too apparent, safety is not a top priority.
Currently, police are investigating the cause of the initial explosions. Currently, they believe the fire originated in the electrical system of the plant. Employees reports say that no fire drills have ever been enacted, and that interior fire escape routes were poorly displayed, if at all. As of today (6/5/13) 119 dead have been pulled from the ruins with an unknown number of workers still trapped inside the rubble.