At least 14 people were killed and another seven were injured in a blast at a suspected hillside gambling den yesterday afternoon in Guizhou province, state media reported.
The provincial publicity office said the explosion, at around 2.40pm, took place at what appeared to be an illegal gambling place in the mountainous Longchang township outside Kaili city, according to China News Service.
China Central Television reported that local police found the blast was set deliberately and were investigating the incident as a crime. The provincial leaders have ordered the city to screen for risks in the management of explosives. A vice-governor in charge of public security has been sent to the scene.
In December, Kaili police busted three illegal casinos, arresting seven organisers and another 57 for participating in gambling, according to a report posted on the official Guizhou Daily's news portal. The police confiscated more than 210,000 yuan (HK$267,100) in gambling money at the scene.
In August 2012, one Kaili resident complained on a People's Daily forum that video game centres were running slot machines and other illegal games. "Many people were travelling from other cities in the province … to gamble … and the authorities are not taking public complaints seriously," the person wrote.