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Firecracker explosion death rises to 5 in S. China

(Xinhua)

13:30, November 24, 2011

NANNING, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from an explosion in a firecracker workshop in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region has risen to five, after an elderly man injured in the blast died in hospital Thursday morning.

Another ten people were injured in the accident, including a minor aged at nine. Among them, eight, in serious condition, were transferred Thursday morning from a county hospital to bigger hospitals in Beihai City for intensive care.

The private house-turned workshop was destroyed by the blast, which occurred at 1:08 p.m. Wednesday in Gongguan Township, Hepu County, according to a government statement.

Police said the parents and an 11-year-old male relative of the house owner were among the dead.

The local police have tightened the crackdown on illegal firecracker makers in the county by shutting down more than 40 such small plants and detaining 22 people this year.

Firecrackers are traditionally important for Chinese festivities. As the New Year and the lunar New Year, or the Spring Festival, draw near, firecracker makers are increasing their production ahead of the annual sales boom.

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