NANCHANG - An explosion and ensuing fire at a fireworks workshop in East China's Jiangxi province on Friday evening killed seven people and injured six, local government said Saturday.
Among the deceased, five were killed in house collapse as the fire caused by the explosion destroyed five houses, the government of Wanzai county said in a statement.
It said the workshop belongs to an enterprise of the neighboring Hunan Province. To evade supervision, the owner of the enterprise illegally operated the fireworks semi-manufacture workshop at a rural household in Wanzai.
Gan Yi, the legal representative of the enterprise, has been held in police custody for further investigation, the statement said.
China's work safety watchdog on Friday asked local authorities to organize safety checks at firework factories from December to January, as China's Spring Festival falls on February 9 next year, when fireworks will be widely released for celebration.
In a circular, the State Administration of Work Safety urged provincial regulators to conduct selective examinations on firework factories and carry out checks at sales points and track flows of fireworks and firecrackers.
China's firework plants have seen frequent accidents due to lax safety standards, especially among small producers.