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Seven killed in powerful blast in China

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BEIJING: A powerful explosion ripped through a building in a northern Chinese city on Monday, killing seven people and injuring scores more.

Media reports said the blast in Yulin, which destroyed or damaged nearby buildings including a hospital, may have been caused by explosives illegally stored in the building. The official Xinhua news agency said dozens of firefighters were sent to the scene in Shaanxi province, and rescuers were hunting for survivors who may be trapped in the rubble.

Pictures showed widespread damage, with windows blown out of buildings, dense grey smoke engulfing the streets and bloodied people, some lying on the ground. The explosion occurred at around 2:00 pm (0600 GMT), city hall said. “So far, 94 people have been hospitalised and seven have died.” Industrial accidents are common in China, where safely regulations are often flouted.

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