Thursday, March 27, 2008

China 'fireworks' blast kills 22

Last updated at 01:38 GMT, Thursday, 27 March 2008
BBC News

Twenty-two people have been killed and 10 injured by an explosion in the north-western Chinese province of Xinjiang, state media have reported.

The blast occurred when local officials tried to destroy firecrackers in the desert 7km (4 miles) outside the city of Turpan, the Xinhua news agency said.

The injured have been taken to hospital and the fire caused by the explosion has been extinguished, it added.

Xinhua did not say whether those killed were officials or bystanders.

An investigation into the cause of the blast is under way.

Several hundred people are killed by fireworks each year in China. Last year, officials announced plans to reduce the number of deaths in the industry.

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