At least 7 dead and more than 50 injured after blast rocks kindergarten in east China
BEIJING (REUTERS, AFP) - An explosion rocked a kindergarten in eastern China on Thursday (June 15) killing at least seven people, including children, Chinese media reports said.
Two people died on the spot and five more died of their injuries, while 59 people were injured. Nine of those wounded were being treated for severe injuries, Xinhua reported.
The blast occurred at 4.50pm local time at the gate of the kindergarten as children were leaving the school in the afternoon, Xinhua said, citing the emergency office of Xuzhou city.
A photo posted by Chinese media online shows several women and children sitting or lying on the ground, some bleeding. One woman is clutching her child, who is in tears.
The images circulating online showed more than a dozen people outside a building, many lying on the concrete and some appearing to be unconscious, including a small child.
An official at the police station in Fengxian county in Jiangsu province told AFP that the cause of the explosion was under investigation. "There were some children injured," the official said.
The force of the blast tore the clothes off some people.
Online commentators said it could have been a gas canister explosion.
Police from Xuzhou city urged social media commentators to share only information from official channels after some users posted videos of an April explosion, saying they depicted Thursday's incident.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
It is the latest tragedy to strike a kindergarten in China in recent weeks.
A school bus packed with kindergarten pupils erupted in flames inside a tunnel in eastern Shandong province on May 9, killing 11 children, a teacher and the driver.
Officials later said the fire was intentionally set by the driver, who was angry at losing overtime wages.
Blasts and other accidents are common in China, because of patchy enforcement of safety rules, although the government has pledged to improve checks to stamp out such incidents.
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