At least seven people, including elderly women, were killed and three others injured when an explosion ripped through an illegal firecracker unit on Monday in Yizhang County in central China's Hunan province.
The majority workers killed or injured in the blast were middle-aged and elderly women, with the average age above forty, a local official said. The youngest victim of the blast was a 14-year-old girl.
The official said the blast collapsed the major part of the 50-square-meter workshop. Six people were killed on the spot and another worker died later in the hospital, Xinhua news agency reported.
The illegal unit was functioning despite the local government's order asking all the firecracker producers in the county to halt production for safety check-up.
The owner of the workshop has already been in custody of the local police and investigation into the cause of the accident is also underway.