At least seven dead, 94 injured after blast rips through housing complex in northwestern China

Exact cause not known but residents suspect illegally stored explosives

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 October, 2016, 5:53pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 October, 2016, 8:11am

A blast ripped through a residential building in Yulin, Shaanxi province on Monday, killing at least seven and injuring 94.

The explosion occurred at 2pm in Fugu county.

Xinhua reported an initial investigation indicated that the explosion took place at a makeshift prefabricated house, which had been built inside a residential compound.

It remained unclear what caused the explosion, Xinhua reported. But Huashang Daily quoted some residents as saying that it was caused by explosives stored illegally stored in the basement of the building.

Smoke and dust hang in the air after the explosion in Yulin. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Cars and buildings near the site sustained heavy damage, and scores were injured. Some were rushed to hospital with serious head injuries, Huashang Daily reported.

The blast left a crater about 4 metres wide and 2 metres deep.

Footage of the scene showed heavy damage to the building and others nearby, with dense smoke and debris strewn across the street. Some victims lay motionless on the ground, while others bleeding heavily walked around seeking help.

Police, firefighters and nearby residents searched for other casualties among the debris.

A local hospital was among nearby buildings that were heavily damaged.