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November 13, 2009

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Illegal fireworks blast kills 1 child, injures 12

AN explosion ripped through an illegal fireworks workshop in southwestern China yesterday, killing a child and critically injured another 12 youngsters.

A man also was hurt in the 8am blast in Hezhou City of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China News Service reported.

Local safety watchdogs said the workshop was unlicensed, while unconfirmed information said the young victims were working at the workshop and the operator has fled.

The explosion took place at a two-story house, according to a witness.

The dead child was seen lying near the partially collapsed house.

The 12 youngsters injured in the accident, between nine and 12 years old, and the injured man are receiving emergency treatment for serious burns at several local hospitals, according to the report.

Fatal blasts at unlicensed fireworks factories are reported every year and youngsters are often among the victims.

This year, a fireworks explosion in Taojiang County of Hunan Province in central China on April 14 killed two and injured five students from an elementary school hundreds of meters away.

On November 26, 2007, a blast of expired explosives at a deserted fireworks factory in Yuncheng City of Shanxi Province killed five elementary school students.

Also in 2007, two children, aged seven and 10, were killed in a fireworks blast at an unlicensed workshop in Liangping County of Chongqing Municipality. The accident caused three deaths and injured seven.


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