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Family of three die in suspected suicide blast
By Qiu Quanlin (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-27 06:08

GUANGZHOU: A six-year-old boy and his parents died in a gas explosion at their family home in Guangzhou on Christmas Day, local police said yesterday.

Initial investigations revealed bottled gas cylinders might have been ignited deliberately by one of the parents, an unnamed police told China Daily.

Neighbours said the couple had been arguing over money in the days leading up to the explosion.

It happened on Sunday morning in the 29-square-metre house of the Zede residential community in the Baiyun District of Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province.

Police said no other residents in the community were injured by the blast.

"It might be a suicide incident since we found that the house was locked, but we don't know yet who exploded the gas," police said.

Emergency services faced the hazard of three gas bottles still exploding in the house when they arrived.

Investigations will continue into the cause of the incident.

"I was terrified in the morning by the huge blast sound," said He Zhengpen, a 72-year-old resident in the Zede community.

According to He, the family's income came mainly from the boy's father, Xu Yongde, who earned about 700 yuan (US$86) monthly.

"The unhappy family relationship might be the cause of the accident since Xu even had a quarrel with his wife several days ago due to running out of money," he said.

The tragedy came after Ma Hao, general manager of Guangzhou-based Huagang Development Co Ltd, killed himself, his wife and daughter at home earlier this month due to huge work pressure.

"These are typical cases of suicide incidents within a family either because of living or work pressure," said Yuan Rongqin, director of the Guangzhou-based Qinglang Psychological Consultation Centre.

Yuan said that people should learn how to face setbacks by putting aside pressures from living and work.

(China Daily 12/27/2005 page3)

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