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Foshan City shaken by massive fireworks explosion
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Firecrackers explodes in the air.

More than 15,000 cartons of fireworks stored in 20 warehouses in southern China's Foshan City exploded on Thursday, but no casualties have been reported, local officials said.

Investigations into the initial cause of the incident are under way.  

The blast occurred around 3:30 AM on Thursday in Sanshui District, Foshan City, which is in the southern province of Guangdong. Several heavy explosions were heard and the blasts set neighboring woods on fire, an official with the Foshan city government said.

Four security guards who were watching the 11-hectare warehouse area and nearby villagers were evacuated. More than 650 police, fire-fighters and soldiers were fighting to contain the fire, he said.

The local newspaper Foshan Daily said that the explosions lasted over a five-hour period and steel structural debris was found 1,000 meters away on a highway. Windows in homes about 5 kilometers away were shattered, and many local residents were quoted as saying they thought that the area had been hit by an earthquake.

Most of the fireworks were made in Hunan and Jiangxi provinces and had been temporarily stored in the warehouses, owned by a local company, for export.

The blazing warehouses

Debris after the explosion

Debris after the explosion

(Xinhua News Agency February 14, 2008)

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