Identities of bar blast victims confirmed

Updated: 2007-07-06 19:36

BENXI, Liaoning -- Authorities in northeast China's Liaoning Province have confirmed the identities of the 25 people killed in a blast at a karaoke bar which also injured 41 people, four seriously, a local government spokesman said on Friday.

The explosion occurred at a karaoke bar in Tianshifu Township of Benxi Autonomous County of Manchu Nationality in Liaoning on Wednesday night, which leveled the two-storey entertainment venue to the ground and damaged some nearby buildings.

The 25 victims, who were killed on the spot, included the bar owner Qu Yijie - known locally as Qu Hua - his elder brother and his elder brother's wife, said Fu Qingbin, a spokesman for the Benxi county government.

More than 10 teenage girls were celebrating a birthday for a 19-year-old girl Sun Bo, who worked at a nearby department store and most of them died in the blast, Fu said.

The victims also included a motorcycle driver and a truck driver who were passing the door of the KTV bar and a couple who owned a nearby carwash shop, he said.

The relatives of the victims have been arranged to stay in local hotels, waiting to discuss the issue of compensation with local authorities.

The 41 people injured in the blast are still being treated in local hospitals and are in a stable condition, local health authorities said.

Four people suffered serious injuries, while 37 others suffered fractures, chest injuries and broken ribs, said a physician.

One seriously wounded person has been transferred to Benxi City Central Hospital. The others are either in Benxi County No. 1 hospital or at a hospital in Tianshifu Township, said Jiang Yongcheng, deputy director of the Benxi County Health Bureau.

A dozen medical experts have gone to Benxi County to help treat the victims.

Police are questioning the parlor owner's wife and some employees of the parlor.

The cause of the blast has not been confirmed, Fu said, but the Beijing News reported on Friday that TNT explosives were stored in the basement of the karaoke bar, speculating that its owner Qu Yijie, who also owned a coal mine, might be to blame for the accident.

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