China Urges Checks After Deadly Fireworks Blast

An accident from fireworks has killed 21 people and injured 48 in Puning, Guangdong on the last day of the Lunar New Year holiday. From AP:

The State Council’s Work Safety Commission said in a notice that authorities around the country should learn from the mistakes that caused the blast late Friday in the southern province of Guangdong, the deadliest accident of the 15-day Spring Festival.

The celebrations are set to end Sunday with a lantern festival. Fireworks are often a key part.

Last year, lantern festival fireworks sparked an inferno that destroyed a nearly completed hotel next to state broadcaster CCTV’s landmark new office building in downtown Beijing, leaving one firefighter dead. Earlier this month, fireworks started a blaze that destroyed a 1,600-year-old city gate in northern China, causing about 1 million yuan ($150,000) in financial losses.

The death toll from Friday’s explosion in a residential area rose to 21 by Sunday morning, Guangdong emergency authorities said in a statement. State media said authorities have so far identified 10 of the dead.

Thirteen bodies were found at the site while eight others died in hospitals from injuries. Among the remaining 48 people who were injured, six were in critical condition, the government said.

See also a translation of a Southern Metropolis Daily report from ESWN.


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