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Blasts at China fireworks factories kill 14: state media

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Jan 4, 2009
Fourteen people were killed in two explosions at illegal fireworks factories in China, state media reported on Sunday.

Thirteen people were killed in one blast Saturday afternoon at an abandoned brick kiln that had been illegally transformed into a fireworks factory in Weifang city in the eastern province of Shandong, Xinhua news agency said.

Local officials initially only reported three fatalities but 10 other bodies were found Sunday, it said. No other details were immediately available.

One more person died on Sunday morning in another blast at an illegal factory in Guozhuang in the northern province of Hebei, Xinhua reported later.

China's huge fireworks industry is notorious for its lax safety standards, especially among smaller producers.

The blasts came as China prepared for the Lunar New Year festival on January 26, when fireworks are a key part of celebrations.

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Five die in China chemical plant explosion: state media
Beijing (AFP) Jan 3, 2009
At least five people were killed in an explosion at a chemical plant in east China, state media reported Saturday.







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