At least 119 workers were killed early Monday morning in China after a fire swept through a poultry slaughterhouse, reports CNN.
A fire official said three explosions at the slaughterhouse in Jilin province in northeast China started the fire around 6 a.m. A cause of the blasts were not immediately known, but it has been reported that an ammonia leak may be to blame.
More than 300 workers were inside the plant when the blaze broke out, but not everyone made it out of a single exit in the factory. All other exits were either blocked or locked.
“I could only crawl desperately forward,” 39-year-old Guo Yan, a worker who survived the fire, quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency. “I worked alongside an old lady and a young girl, but I don’t know if they survived or not.”
Another 54 workers were injured in the fire, which took 500 firefighters and more than 270 doctors and nurses to quell the scene. Firefighters battled the blaze for nearly six hours until they were able to get it under control.
“The complicated interior structure of the prefabricated house in which the fire broke out and the narrow exits have added difficulties to the rescue work, sources with rescue forces said,” Xinhua said.