Chinese kindergarten rocked by 'gas cylinder' explosion

Blast occurs at the front gate while parents are picking up children from school, killing 7 and injuring 66

The aftermath of the explosion outside a kindergarten. PIC/AFP
The aftermath of the explosion outside a kindergarten. PIC/AFP

A powerful explosion rocked the entrance of a kindergarten in eastern China yesterday while children were leaving the school, killing at least seven people and injuring 66 others, the state media reported.

The blast happened at around 4.50 pm at the front gate of the kindergarten in Fengxian County in east China's Jiangsu Province when children were leaving the school, officials were quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency.

Two people were killed at the site of the explosion while another five died later in hospital. Among the injured, nine are in critical condition, the Fengxian county government said. The number of children among the casualties has not been confirmed, the report said. It was not immediately clear what caused the blast. The Global Times and China Youth Daily newspapers cited witnesses as saying that a gas cylinder at a food stall had exploded.

Footage of the scene showed some people covered in blood while others appeared to be unconscious and some even with their clothes burned off. Children were seen among the injured. The gate of the kindergarten appeared to have been horribly bent, with shattered glass littering the scene.

Targeted in the past
May 9: A school bus packed with kindergarten pupils erupted in flames inside a tunnel in eastern Shandong province, killing 11 children, a teacher and the driver. The fire was intentionally set by the driver, who was angry at losing overtime wages.
January 4: A man armed with a kitchen knife stabbed and wounded 11 children at a kindergarten in southern Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

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