Two children die in blast in Shenzhen

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 January, 2007, 12:00am

Two children were killed and one injured in Shenzhen yesterday after a mysterious explosion in a notorious vice district where hundreds of prostitutes and their clients were publicly paraded last month.

The blast occurred at about 1.10pm in Shazui, Futian district. Three boys, aged five to nine, were playing near a flower bed at the time. A five-year-old was killed instantly and an eight-year-old died shortly after arriving at hospital.

Lin Shuxin, nine, survived the blast and was receiving treatment at the Shenzhen No2 People's Hospital. Doctors said he was in stable condition last night.

Police refused to disclose more details. Li Jun, the deputy police director of the Futian Public Security Bureau, said the explosion was caused by 'an unidentified object'.

But local sources said the blast might have been caused by a hand grenade. A hospital medic said they had found what appeared to be bomb fragments in the bodies.

The blast left a 60cm-diameter hole in the ground and shattered the windows of vehicles parked near the flower bed.

'[The children] were playing around. I suddenly heard a loud blast and immediately rushed to the site. I saw my boy covered in dirt,' the mother of one of boys who died told Guangdong Television.

Gangsters controlling vice in Shazui, an urbanised village, frequently clash with police. Last month, police raided hundreds of entertainment premises in the area and arrested prostitutes, pimps and owners, and publicly paraded them.