A Good Reason to Appreciate Australian Building Codes

Sourced from: MailOnline, 3rd June 2013

Many will appreciate the value of building codes and approval processes within Australian regulations given the recent devastating outbreak of fire in a Chinese chicken factory where initial reports advised that 119 people were killed and over 45 people were injured.

Alarmingly, there are numerous reports of survivors saying they struggled to get out of the building because exits were ‘blocked’.

They said because of the ‘complicated’ design of the building, including narrow corridors and blocked exits, coupled with lights cutting out and people panicking, many were unable to escape.

The provincial fire department, on its microblog, said the blasts were caused by an ammonia leak.

Media reports differ on the speculative cause of the fire at the site.

Some say it was caused by an electrical fault; it is alleged it broke out in the locker room.

Reports claim workers heard a loud explosion and then dark smoke and flames quickly engulfed the factory.

There were between 300 and 350 people working in the facility at the time the fire broke out. About 100 workers managed to escape the deadly smoke and flames. Those who survived said all the lights went

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out, the plant went dark and people started to panic.

At the time of the fire, the gate to the plant was locked, workers said.

The devastating fire will bring into question safety standards at factories in China, which is the world’s largest exporting nation.