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4 die in fireworks blast at farmhouse in Hebei

A government spokesman said today that four people died in a fireworks explosion yesterday at a farmhouse in north China's Hebei Province.

The accident was reported at about 4 pm in Zhouwo Township, Wuqiang County, the spokesman said.

The blast killed the homeowners, Li Zongxian and his wife Li Huazi, their daughter-in-law Liu Ruimian and a neighbor, he said.

The volume of debris suggested that a huge amount of fireworks had been stored in the building, he said.

Investigators found no raw material or semi-finished fireworks. "All the neighbors the investigators interviewed said they were not aware the Li family produced or sold fireworks," the spokesman said.

The spokesman said police had detained the family's elder son, who lived with the elderly couple and was the household breadwinner, on suspicion of involvement in illegal fireworks trade.

The son was not at home at the time of the explosion.


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