Mushroom cloud over Heilongjiang: 19 killed in fireworks factory explosion


Southern Metropolis Daily, August 17, 2010

Today’s Southern Metropolis Daily has a photo of a mushroom cloud on its front page: An explosion at a fireworks factory in Yichun, Heilongjiang Province.

Most newspapers have run with copy from Xinhua; excerpt of English version:

The death toll from Monday’s explosion at a fireworks factory in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province has climbed to 19, with five missing and another 153 injured, local authorities said Tuesday.

The explosion occurred at 9:45 Monday morning at the factory in the Wumahe District of Yichun City. It killed nine of the factory’s 51 workers and injured 35, while five are still unaccounted for.

Another eight were killed and 35 injured when the explosion hit the neighboring Taiye Wood Factory.

The blast also killed two pedestrians and injured 83 residents near the factory.

The ensuing fire was largely brought under control Monday after a helicopter dumped water on the blaze…

…The situation is still severe and new accidents might occur, as there are three timber mills near the fireworks factory, a local government official said.

The fire spread to a chopstick factory Monday but it was brought under control.

More than 2,000 residents were evacuated after the explosion shattered windows within a one kilometer radius of the factory…

…Witnesses said the shockwave of the explosion was felt up to five kilometers away…

…The cause of the accident is under investigation.

The headline on the front page above indicates an earlier death toll of 13 people. The other big headline (in black) is about the famous White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou, which has drafted plans for a new high rise building that would require the destruction of a bridge onramp section of road that is part of a classic riverside view of Shamian Island in Guangzhou.

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