At least five killed after blasts at fireworks store in China
Explosions and blaze ripped through shop and warehouse in Hunan province
At least five people were killed in explosions at a store selling fireworks in central China.
The blasts occurred at the shop in Yueyang in Hunan province on Tuesday evening, state television reported.
A large fire engulfed a four-storey building in a wholesale market at about 9pm, firefighters were quoted as saying.
The first floor of the building was a warehouse and store with large amount of fireworks and firecrackers inside.
Above were apartments where the remains of five victims were found.
Fireworks shot up into the sky and the neighbourhood was chocked with thick smoke during the blaze, witnesses were quoted as saying.
Trees and cars parked on street were consumed in flames, with firecrackers exploding for several hours.
Firefighters rescued one survivor from the building.
The fire had largely been brought under control by 11.20pm, with 80 firemen and 14 fire trucks at the scene.
The local authorities said the explosions were caused by a customer lighting up a “bomb-sized” firecracker less than 10 metres from the front of the shop. Sparks landed on explosives and set off a series of blasts.
The victims were killed by suffocation from inhaling smoke, according to the report.
Huge numbers of fireworks are sold in China during the Lunar New Year holiday.