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February 11, 2011

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Woman falls to death following gas explosion

AN elderly woman jumped off the balcony of her sixth-floor apartment and died yesterday morning after a gas explosion in her kitchen.

The woman surnamed Jin, 78, fell onto the roof of a hardware store below her apartment building in Lane 8, Jingyu Road, in Yangpu District, and was pronounced dead on arrival at Xinhua Hospital, police said.

The exact cause of the gas explosion was still being investigated.

People were alerted to the incident when the sound of the explosion rocked the neighborhood, said Huang Weitao, a security guard in a building next to Jin's lane.

"After the huge sound, which was much more violent than the sound of firecrackers, black smoke burst from the window of the apartment on the sixth floor and then flames came out," Huang told Shanghai Daily.

Fragments of glass, bricks from the apartment's walls and many kitchenware items could be seen scattered near Yongji Road.

To escape from the fire, Jin jumped from the balcony, -witnesses said.

"She was conscious and had not been burnt by the fire," said Wang Daquan, who witnessed the incident. "We shouted and asked her not to jump, but she didn't listen."

"She looked so scared," Wang added. "At first she was not able to climb over the railing of the balcony, so she moved a stool and got onto it to jump."


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