Blast at China coke plant kills three

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Three workers died and three others were injured by an explosion at a coke plant in South-western China, the Xinhua news agency said.

The explosion occurred Friday morning at a work-shop at the Yunnan Dawei Coke Co. Ltd. in Qujing, Yunnan Province, blowing off the cover of a storage tank.

Strong prices for coke have kept many small and dangerous coking plants open, despite repeated government pledges to crack down on polluting plants or those that don't meet minimum capacity standards.

Many plants have rejigged to capture waste gases from coke production and double as chemicals plants or magnesium foundries.