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Blast at illegal fireworks factory kills 13

Chinese state media say an explosion in an illegal fireworks factory has killed 13 people and injured two. The Saturday blast flattened three rooms in a rented house in the eastern province of Shandong.

world Updated: May 03, 2009 15:12 IST

Chinese state media say an explosion in an illegal fireworks factory has killed 13 people and injured two. The Saturday blast flattened three rooms in a rented house in the eastern province of Shandong. The Xinhua News Agency said the blast shook the earth and damaged neighbouring homes. Some residents mistook it for an earthquake.

Xinhua said police were hunting for the house's tenant. Neighbours did not know that the house was being used to make fireworks.

Fireworks are big business in China, but safety is often lax. In February, a Beijing hotel still under construction was gutted in a fire started by an unlicensed fireworks display.