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Deadly Blast Rocks Chinese Kindergarten, Kills 7

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Local Editor

Chinese state media reported that at least seven people had been killed and 59 others wounded in an explosion at a nursery in eastern China.

Scene of the explosion

Nine are in serious condition, Chinese state TV reported.

The blast occurred as children were being picked up from school in the city of Xuzhou in Jiangsu province on Thursday, police said.

Mobile phone camera footage posted on the website of the official People's Daily newspaper showed more than a dozen people lying motionless in front of the nursery's steel sliding gate.

The force of the blast tore the clothes off some of the people lying on the ground beside pools of blood.

One woman was seen clutching her child, who was in tears. The video also showed ambulances arriving and medical personnel wheeling people into an emergency room.

It was not clear whether the explosion was an accident or was deliberately set.

The newspaper Xiandaikuaibao on its website cited an unidentified witness as saying the blast appeared to have been caused by an exploding bottle of cooking gas.

Calls to the kindergarten and local hospitals rang unanswered, AP news agency reported.

An official at the police station in Fengxian county told AFP news agency that the explosion was under investigation.

It is the latest tragedy to strike a nursery in China in recent weeks.

A school bus packed with kindergarten pupils erupted in flames inside a tunnel in eastern Shandong province on May 9, killing 11 children, a teacher and the driver.

Officials later said the fire was intentionally set by the driver, who was angry at losing overtime wages.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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