Monday 27 January 2020

Seven killed after explosion at Chinese kindergarten

Images on social media showed people lying injured on the ground
Images on social media showed people lying injured on the ground

Seven people have died and 59 others were injured after an explosion at the front gates of a kindergarten in eastern China.

The blast at the Chuangxin Kindergarten in Fengxian, Jiangsu province, took place as relatives were picking up their children at the end of the school day.

The Xuzhou city government said the incident is under investigation.

It is not immediately clear whether the explosion was deliberately triggered, or the result of an accident.

Videos purportedly from the scene and posted on social media showed children and adults lying on the ground, some bleeding.

Clothing, shoes and other items were strewn on the ground beside pools of blood.

Kindergartens in China have been targeted before in apparent revenge attacks carried out by people bearing grudges against their neighbours and society.

This has prompted a tightening of security around many schools, with the posting of guards equipped with truncheons and the installation of gates and other barriers.

China maintains tight control over firearms and most attacks are carried out using knives, axes or home-made explosives.

The official newspaper Global Times reported on its website that the incident was caused by the explosion of a gas cylinder at a roadside food stall, citing a witness identified only by the surname Shi.

The blast sent people flying several yards into the air, according to Shi.

In 2010, nearly 20 children were killed in attacks on schools, prompting a response from top government officials and leading many schools to boost security.

Last year, a knife-wielding assailant injured seven students outside a primary school in a northern city.

PA Media

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