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Schools resume classes after fatal blast in SW China


08:55, November 04, 2011

GUIYANG, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- About 5,000 students in southwest China's Guizhou province went back to school on Thursday after their schools were temporarily closed by a deadly explosion that happened on Tuesday, according to local authorities.

More than 6,000 students from six nearby schools had their classes suspended for two days as a result of damage done to the schools by the explosion, according to officials from the municipal education bureau.

Four of the schools have reopened, as their main buildings were not damaged in the blast; the other two schools will resume classes after safety risks have been eliminated, according to the provincial quality testing panel.

The explosion occurred when a cargo truck loaded with about 70 metric tons of explosives blew up in front of a motor vehicle testing station on Tuesday morning in Fuquan, about 100 km from Guizhou's capital of Guiyang, according to the local rescue headquarters.

The death toll from the explosion climbed from seven to eight on Wednesday, as a bystander who was seriously injured in the blast died later in a hospital, according to publicity officials from the city of Fuquan, where the blast occurred.

More than 200 people were injured in the blast and have been hospitalized. Nine of the injured were previously reported as being in serious condition; their condition has been upgraded to stable.

Residents living in homes that were damaged by the blast have been temporarily relocated to tents. The city government has earmarked 5 million yuan (787,065 U.S. dollars) to relocate people whose houses were damaged in the explosion, as well as cover their medical treatment.

Relief goods including 200 tents, 800 metric tons of grain and 2,000 cotton-padded quilts have been given to the affected residents by the local civil affairs department.

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