24 killed 148 injured in twin mishaps in China
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Last Updated: Monday, August 16, 2010, 23:52
Beijing: At least 24 persons were killed and 148 injured in China today in two separate incidents, including 13 people in an explosion at a fireworks factory in Heilongjiang province.

Thirteen people were killed and 148 others injured in an explosion at a fireworks factory in the Wumahe District of Yichun City in Heilongjiang province, local official said.

More than 2,000 residents were evacuated after the explosion shattered the windows of buildings one kilometre away and damaged iron fences standing 100 meters away.

"The shock waves of the explosion was felt up to five km away," official Xinhua news agency reported.

The fire has been extinguished after a helicopter dumped water on the blaze above but some fireworks are still exploding.

There are usually 40 to 50 people at work in the factory on working days. However, the exact number of workers who were in the factory when the explosion occurred is unknown.

More than 550 fire fighters and soldiers in 20 fire trucks were dispatched to the scene.

Some 300 rescuers are on their way to the scene to search for survivors.

"Fire trucks are hosing water onto nearby storehouses to prevent another explosion," said Xu Zhaojun, Party chief of Yinchun City.

In another accident, 11 people were killed after an elevator at a hospital construction site in Meihekou City in northeast China's Jilin Province crashed from the sixth floor to the ground.

The construction of the 12-story building had been completed and the workers were engaged in the exterior decoration while the accident happened, the publicity department of the municipal committee of the Communist Party of China, said in a statement.

The accident happened when the elevator with 11 people inside crashed from the sixth floor to the ground.

The 11 people on it failed to respond to medical treatment, Xinhua reported.

The manager of Dongbei Jincheng Construction Co Ltd, the contractor, was taken into police custody and his bank account and assets have been frozen, the statement said.

The site has been cordoned off.


First Published: Monday, August 16, 2010, 23:52

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