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Death toll rises to 13 in Shandong fireworks explosion

THIRTEEN people were confirmed dead and two others fatally injured in a fireworks explosion yesterday afternoon in east China's Shandong Province.

The explosion took place at an unlicensed fireworks processing factory in Yangzhuangzi Village of Qingyun Township, Qingyun County, at 1:30 pm Three rooms owned by villager Yang Ziye were toppled, according to the Qingyun county government.

One woman villager said she heard a loud noise when explosion was happening. "Taking it for an earthquake, by instinct, I ran out of my home," said the woman.

Windows in other houses in the vicinity were battered, and cracks were also found with some of the houses.

The villagers said they didn't know Yang had rented his house to another person who had organized secret fireworks making around Yang's house.

Two bulldozers were continuing to comb through the debris. Identities of the dead were still unknown at the moment.

The police were hunting down for the tenant who was suspected of causing a major crime for the accident, said Gao Lixia, an official in charge of publicity with Qingyun County Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

The two injured were rushed to a hospital in Binzhou, a nearby city in Shandong, for medical treatment.

Qingyun is a county in northern Shandong and is about three hours' bus ride from Jinan, the provincial capital.


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