8 dead, 59 injured as blast rocks kindergarten in China
The blast took place in Fengxian county in China's Jiangsu province. Image source: Google Maps Photograph: (Others)
Eight people were killed and 59 injured in an explosion at a kindergarten in eastern China on Thursday, state media said.
China Central Television said two people were killed at the site of the explosion, and six died in hospital. Nine of the injured are in a serious condition.
Though the cause of the explosion is not clear, online reports suggested it may have been a gas canister explosion, Reuters reported.
Many parents were picking up their children when the blast took place around 5 pm near the entrance of the kindergarten in Xuzhou, in the coastal province of Jiangsu.
Pictures posted by Chinese media online showed more than a dozen people -- including women and children sitting or lying on the ground outside a building. Many were lying on the concrete and some appeared to be unconscious, including a small child.
An official at the police station in Fengxian county in Jiangsu province told AFP that the cause of the explosion was under investigation.
"There were some children injured," the official said.
The force of the blast tore the clothes off some people.
It is the latest tragedy to strike a kindergarten in China in recent weeks.
A school bus packed with kindergarten pupils erupted in flames inside a tunnel in eastern Shandong province on May 9, killing 11 children, a teacher and the driver. Officials later said the fire was intentionally set by the driver, who was angry at losing overtime wages.