A massive explosion in a fireworks factory in north western China left nine workers dead and wounded eight others. The blast which took place on Friday afternoon, reduced to ashes all the seven workshops of the Xinping Firecrackers Company in Pucheng County in Shaanxi Province, Xinhua reported.
China has one of the largest fireworks industry in the world with crackers being exported to a number of countries, but the industry has a very poor safety record. Xinhua said that police have launched a search for the factory owner Qu Pingxin who fled after the incident. Police rushed the wounded to the hospital, where the condition of some of them was stated to be critical.
Chinese authorities have recently run a number of campaigns to improve safety standards in the fireworks sectors, but accidents occur due to factories run illegally.