Chinese fireworks explosion kills 13

Posted by Sarah Harlan - email

BEIJING (AP) - Chinese state media said an explosion in an illegal fireworks factory has killed 13 people and injured two.

Saturday's blast flattened three rooms in a rented house in the eastern province of Shandong.

The Xinhua News Agency reported the blast shook the earth and damaged neighboring homes, with some residents mistaking it for an earthquake.

Police were hunting for the unidentified tenant. Xinhua said neighbors did not know that the house had been rented out to a fireworks maker.

Fireworks are big business in China, but safety is often lax. In February, a Beijing hotel still under construction was gutted in a fire started by an unlicensed fireworks display.

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