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Distraught woman blamed for residential building blast

A distraught woman was blamed for a residential building explosion in Qingpu District that injured eight people, including herself, on Saturday night.

The woman surnamed Jiang tried to kill herself due to relationship problems with her boyfriend, district government officials said yesterday.

Jiang, 32, who started renting the apartment about six months ago, ignited the gas because she wanted to commit suicide as she was having problems with her boyfriend, government officials said.

Jiang suffered severe burns and was being treated at the General Hospital of Armed Police Forces last night.

"Her life is still in danger," doctor Shi Wenhua said. "Nearly 72 percent of her body was injured."

The other seven people wounded in the blast were treated for minor injuries at the Qingpu branch of Zhongshan Hospital.

Neighbors said they often heard Jiang and her boyfriend quarrel.

The investigation into the explosion is ongoing and Jiang may face punishment for the blast, officials said.

The blast occurred in apartment 404 of building No. 10 in Zhangbang Neighborhood about 6:20pm on Saturday, rocking the Chengzhong Road E. community.

Thirty-six families have been given temporary accommodation at a nearby hotel as experts evaluate the damage to the building and nearby structures, which were without power until 4am yesterday.

The building will likely be demolished while neighboring apartments need reinforcement, according to the initial evaluation of construction authorities.

"Barricades have been set up around the building" neighborhood committee director Liu Jinrui said yesterday. "This is to prevent others from approaching the unsafe building and to protect the personal property of residents."

Most people were having dinner when they heard the explosion and felt the building move. At first, residents thought it was an earthquake and they fled their apartments.

"All the windows in my house were smashed after a loud sound like thunder," said a resident surnamed Yao, who lives on the ground floor of a building 10 meters from Building No. 10.

"The curtain protected us from being cut by flying pieces of glass from the shattered window," Yao said.

The exterior wall of the fourth floor of the damaged building was blown away. Slabs of the third to fifth floor were damaged and debris was scattered in the area.


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