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DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Over 190 hurt when fire drill goes wrong in China
by Staff Writers
Shanghai (AFP) Sept 20, 2015


Zurich Insurance faces hit over Tianjin disaster, scraps RSA takeover bid
Zurich (AFP) Sept 21, 2015 - Switzerland's Zurich Insurance said Monday it faces losses of some 243 million euros ($275 million) following last month's industrial disaster in Tianjin, China.

The insurer said it forecast third-quarter losses of $200 million in its general insurance business and will conduct a review of the unit.

Separately, Zurich Insurance said it had scrapped a 7.7 billion euro bid to take over its British rival Royal & Sun Alliance.

"Discussions with RSA have now been terminated and... Zurich does not intend to make an offer," the company said in a brief statement.

Massive explosions at a hazardous goods storage firm in Tianjin, northeastern China, on August 12 killed 161 people.

A fire drill at a school in northwestern China left more than 190 people injured, nine critically, after participants inhaled smoke used to simulate accident conditions, state media said Sunday.

More than 400 students at the middle school in Gansu province's Tianshui city took part in the combined fire and air raid drill on Friday when the artificially generated smoke surged out of control, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

"Many students began to cough and vomit after inhaling the smoke," the report quoted the local government as saying. Officials could not be immediately reached for comment on Sunday and the report did not say what type of smoke was used.

Several areas across China, including the capital Beijing and commercial hub Shanghai, sounded air raid sirens on Saturday in pre-announced drills, according to state media.

Organisers said the air raid drill in Beijing was aimed at educating people about national defence with one academic linking the exercise to the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, Xinhua said, which the country marked earlier this month with a military parade.


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