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Toy container explosion kills eight
By Zhan Lisheng (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-20 05:32

By SHANTOU: A container lorry explosion killed eight people and critically injured five in Shantou on Tuesday afternoon.

Four people died in hospital on Tuesday night, while four bodies were later discovered at the explosion site.

Another five persons who have been critically injured are receiving medical treatment at Chenghai Overseas Chinese Hospital and the Second Affiliated Hospital of Shantou University's medical school.

Huang Donghua, an official with Shantou Information Office, told China Daily that senior officials in Shantou have urged the hospitals to do their best to save those injured, and to minimize the possibility of more deaths.

He said that the explosion happened at about 16:00 on Tuesday when workers were onloading toys into a container at a goods yard in the city's Chenghai District, which is one of the nation's key toy supplying bases.

Lin Pengzi, who witnessed the explosion, said he saw victims' limbs fly out in the explosion, which left many people nearby in a state of shock.

The explosion caused a big fire in the container, which in turn ignited another container lorry being loaded with toys and some vehicles nearby.

The fire was extinguished in about half an hour.

Huang said that the municipal government of Shantou has set up an investigation team to examine the cause of the mishap, and handle problems arising from the incident including the comforting and compensation of the victims' families.

The cause of the explosion is not yet clear, but eyewitnesses believe that the powder-loaded toy guns in the container may have triggered the explosion.

(China Daily 10/20/2005 page2)

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