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Gov't Offers Compensation to Victims After Building Blast
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The families of five people killed due to an explosion in a residential building in China's northeastern city of Yingkou on Wednesday night will receive 120,000 yuan (US$15,500) as compensation and 4,000 yuan for funeral expenses.

Fifty tenants whose apartments suffered damage will also be given compensation equal to three months rent so they can move to other apartments, a spokesman for the Yingkou city government said Saturday.

"Although the final conclusion as to the cause of the accident is yet to be made, the government should meet the needs of residents first," he explained.

The blast, believed to be triggered by a natural gas leak, occurred at 9:07 PM Wednesday in the six-story building near the railway station in Yingkou City, Liaoning Province.

The explosion killed five people, injured five others and forced the city to condemn the damaged apartment building.

The injured people have all been treated and released from the hospital, the government spokesman said.

Architects have been called in to determine whether the damaged building can be repaired or needs to be demolished and replaced, he added.

(Xinhua News Agency February 25, 2007)

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