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Man critically injured in apartment gas blast

A GAS explosion rocked a residential community in Minhang District yesterday morning, injuring two people, one seriously.

Xu Guosheng, a 39-year-old Fujian Province native, is in a critical condition in hospital. His wife suffered slight burns and has been discharged.

The incident happened about 6am in a second-floor apartment of a 16-story residential building at the junction of Chunshen Road and Lianhua Road S.

Neighbors said they heard a big bang and many windows in nearby apartments were shattered. Pieces of furniture were blown out of the room.

"There was a bright fireball coming out of the room after the huge sound," said a woman surnamed Liu who lives in the next building.

"At first I thought it was a thunder. But when I saw the fire, I knew something went wrong."

Apartments next door and downstairs were the most badly affected.

"My family had to crawl out of our home through a window since the door was distorted by the blast," a man living downstairs said.

The cause of the blast is still under investigation, but neighborhood officials said that it might not have been an accident.

Wen Yaojian, an official with the neighborhood committee, said the husband had not been getting on well with his wife in recent months.

"The blast could have been a suicide attempt," Wen said.

Xu was taken to Ruijin Hospital and yesterday afternoon was being treated in the emergency room. His body was covered with bandages, his hair had been burnt off and burn marks were clearly visible on his face.

"We gave him a shot of sedative and he is quiet now," said hospital doctor Niu Yiwen. He said that Xu was being kept under observation.

Outside the emergency room, the victim's relatives were too distraught to talk to reporters.

Workers began repairing the damage to the apartment complex yesterday while neighborhood officials arranged temporary accommodation and meals for those affected. By late last night the residents were able to return home.


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