AN explosion in Sichuan province has killed at least 14 people and injured more than 30.
The blast occurred as workers were unloading one tonne of explosives and piles of detonators and wiring at a farming machinery station in Yunyang county.
The workers were using candles to provide light when the combustible material caught fire and exploded, the semi-official China News Service reported.
Houses within a radius of 100 square metres were destroyed. The total economic loss was estimated to be over 10 million yuan (HK$9.3 million).
The accident on Sunday night was reported yesterday in the Sichuan Workers Daily.
Roads in the area were blocked off. A number of villagers were reported missing.
Senior party and government officials have ordered a thorough investigation into the accident, the worst explosion in east Sichuan in more than 40 years.