At least 10 people have been killed and 157 others sustained injuries after a huge explosion occurred in a residential complex in China’s northwestern province of Shaanxi.
The powerful blast ripped through a prefabricated house, built inside a residential compound, in the Xinmin town in Fugu County at 2 p.m. local time on Monday, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
It destroyed the house and scorched neighboring buildings, including the city hospital, scattering debris across the small town. The cause of the blast still remains unknown.
Dozens of fire fighters and rescue workers, who had been dispatched to the blast site, were combing the rubble for survivors, Xinhua said.
Some reports, citing local residents, said the deadly explosion could have been caused by illegally stored explosives. The Fugu County has many mining companies, which require explosives.
China is infamous for its bad safety regulations in the mining sector, with previous explosions blamed on inappropriately stored chemicals or industrial explosives, which are easy to get hold of due to their use in China’s flourishing coal mining sector.
On September 27, an explosion ripped through a colliery in the northwestern autonomous region of Ningxia Hui, killing some 20 miners.
On August 12, a string of major explosions took place at a chemical warehouse in Tianjin, killing 165 people and devastating huge areas surrounding the site of the incident. The warehouse had stored such hazardous materials as sodium cyanide.