14 people killed, 147 injured in building explosion in China

Beijing: At least 14 people were killed and 147 injured when a powerful explosion destroyed a prefabricated house and damaged nearby buildings in China on Monday.

The explosion occurred at 2 pm. at Xinmin Town, Fugu County, in Shaanxi Province, damaging dozens of buildings including the local hospital, state news agency Xinhua said.

 14 people killed, 147 injured in building explosion in China

Representational image. AP

An initial police investigation indicated that the blast was caused by illegally stored explosives, Xinhua said, adding that authorities had detained the owner of the building and were searching for the tenant. The makeshift house had been built inside a residential compound.

But it still remains unclear what caused the explosion, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The township's hospital was among the buildings destroyed or damaged by the blast, reporters at the scene confirmed. Dozens of firefighters and rescuers combed the rubble for more survivors.

Eleven of the injured were in intensive care.

Pictures carried by state media showed rescuers digging through the rubble of low rise buildings, though searches for the incident on Chinese social media were blocked on Tuesday.

China has a bad safety record, with previous blasts blamed on poorly stored chemicals or industrial explosives which are easy to get hold of due to their use in China's booming coal mining sector.

A series of powerful explosions last year at a chemicals warehouse in the northern city of Tianjin killed 165.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Oct 25, 2016 10:15:33 IST