Fireworks Blasts in China Kill 20
Sep. 19, 2001
BEIJING (AP) _ Twenty people, including five police officers, were killed in two separate fireworks explosions in a central Chinese city, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Wednesday.
The explosions happened Tuesday in Wuhan, a major city in China's Hubei province.
A group of more than 20 government officials and police raided a village near the city Tuesday night to confiscate fireworks from farmers who were selling them, Xinhua said.
An explosion in a fireworks dealer's house shortly thereafter killed 17 people, including five police officers, and injured seven others, the agency said. The dealer's house was leveled and a police car was destroyed, Xinhua said.
Local police say people in the village outside Wuhan have long been involved in the illegal production of fireworks.
In a separate explosion in the city hours earlier, three people were killed at an illegal private fireworks plant, Xinhua said.