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49 now dead following blast in Shanxi
Latest Updated by 2006-07-10 09:13:44
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Forty-nine people have now died following an explosion at a house in Shanxi Province.

A further 30 were injured after the blast in the northern province on Friday.

Police have detained six suspects and are hunting for the tenants of the house.

Many of the dead are villagers who rushed to help extinguish a fire that started at the house, not knowing it was packed with explosives about to ignite.

"Many villagers rushed to put out the fire, while the tenants and landlord ran away," the Xinhua News Agency quoted local residents as saying.

Rescue teams organized by governments at various-levels are working around the clock to locate survivors in the rubble left by the blast in the Dongzhai Village, Ningwu County of the province's Xinzhou City.

The accident is the third blast caused by illegally-stored explosives to hit Xinzhou City since April.

In total more than 90 people have been killed by the three explosions.

A joint investigation by the State Administration of Work Safety and the Ministry of Public Security has found that about 150 kilograms of explosives had been stored in the house. About 1,700 residents lived in the surrounding village.

The county government has already earmarked 10 million yuan (US$1.25 million) to compensate victims' families.

Liu Jinguo, vice-minister for public security, said at the scene that the explosion took place around 6:30 am on Friday.

Witnesses said that early on Friday morning, the house, owned by villager Sun Linfeng, caught fire.

Crowds of villagers rushed to try and put the blaze out, while others watched the home burning.

Scores of both helpers and onlookers were killed when it suddenly exploded. The force from the blast also damaged surrounding buildings.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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