An explosion struck the entrance to a kindergarten in eastern China on Thursday. An official at the police station in Fengxian county in Jiangsu province told AFP that the cause of the explosion was under investigation.
At least seven people have been killed and 66 injured in the explosion. Two people reportedly died at the site of the blast and five died in the hospital. Nine of the injured are in a serious condition. Many parents were picking up their children when the blast took place.
#BREAKING At least seven dead, 59 injured in China kindergarten blast: state media
— AFP news agency (@AFP) June 15, 2017
Police say the blast struck at 4:50 pm on Thursday in Fengxian in Jiangsu province. It wasn't clear whether the blast was an accident or was deliberately set. The newspaper Xiandaikuaibao on its website cited an unidentified witness as saying the explosive appeared to have been a bottle of cooking gas.
"About 5 pm, we heard a blast and thought it might have been a gas explosion at a nearby food vendor," a local shop owner was quoted as saying by online news portal Sohu. "Many people could be dead," he said.
The gate of the kindergarten appeared to have been horribly bent, with shattered glass littering the scene.
Kindergartens in China have been targeted before in apparent revenge attacks carried out by people bearing grudges against their neighbors and society. China maintains tight control over firearms and most attacks are carried out using knives, axes or homemade explosives.
With inputs from agencies
Published Date: Jun 15, 2017 16:54 PM | Updated Date: Jun 15, 2017 19:43 PM