Mon, 03 Jun 2013 08:26 CDT
Smoke rises from the Jilin poultry farm where up to 120 people died
A fire at a poultry processing plant in China has killed at least 119 people, officials say.
The fire broke out at a slaughterhouse in Dehui in Jilin province early on Monday.
Accounts speak of explosions prior to the fire
, which caused panic and a crush of workers trying to escape. Some exits were said to be locked.
The fire is now said to have been mostly put out and bodies are being recovered.
Sources including the provincial fire department suggest there may have been an ammonia leak
which either caused the fire or made fighting the blaze more hazardous.
Other reports speak of an electrical fault.
An injured woman lies on a bed at a hospital in Changchun, after fire broke out at a poultry slaughterhouse in Dehui, Jilin province, on Monday Dozens of injured have been sent to hospital
It is China's deadliest fire since 2000, when 309 people died in a blaze in a dance hall in Luoyang, in Henan province. A labour activist told the BBC it was the worst factory fire in living memory.
About 100 workers had managed to escape from the Baoyuan plant, Xinhua said, adding that the "complicated interior structure" of the building and narrow exits had made rescue work more difficult.
It said the plant's front gate was locked when the blaze began.