CHINA> Regional
Death toll from fireworks plant blast rises to 13
Updated: 2009-01-04 15:08

JINAN -- The death toll from a blast at an illegal fireworks plant in east China has risen to 13 as more bodies were found Sunday, local government officials said.

The blast occurred at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday in an abandoned kiln that was being used illegally for producing fireworks by a man in Qianwang Village, Weifang City in Shandong Province, the city government said.

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The local government said late Saturday three people had been killed in the blast.

The government spokesman cited Ling Xi'en, the owner of the plant, as saying that there were 16 people, including four men and 12 women, working in the plant when the blast happened.

Two workers were wounded and are in the hospital, while others sustained little or no injury, witnesses said.

Local police have arrest Ling and are investigating the cause of the blast.