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Blast at diplomatic compound injures 1

By Deng Jingyin (Global Times)

08:21, July 11, 2012

One man was injured in an explosion on Tuesday afternoon at a Diplomatic Residence Compound (DRC) in Chaoyang district.

A metal canister placed next to the basketball court in the compound exploded around 3:15 pm in Qijiayuan DRC near the Jianguomen area. A man who was working inside sustained injuries to his legs, according to witnesses, and has been hospitalized.

"We sent this man to Chaoyang Hospital for treatment… He was injured on his legs, but there is no further information currently," Li Jianren, media officer with Beijing Emergency Medical Center, told the Global Times Tuesday.

The Global Times found that several canisters were still scattered on the site, covered by plastic sheeting.

Several witnesses confirmed that they had heard the noise of the explosion.

"It wasn't a big noise, more like the noise of a tire blowout. When I arrived at the site a few minutes after the accident, I found a man was injured. There was a blue metal canister next to the man, and it looked like it had exploded," said a man surnamed Chen, who was working at a building 50 meters from the scene.

He said that the scene of the explosion was between a basketball court and a children's playground.

The basketball court has been closed for some time and is being used as a temporary stockroom for decoration tools and painting materials.

One woman, who declined to be named, a resident of the compound who claimed that some children were playing in the children's playground when the blast took place.

"Although no child was injured, I'm afraid of another accident, so I don't want my grandchildren to play there now until the decoration is finished," she said.

Qijiayuan DRC started renovations to the corridors and stairways two months ago.

Another worker said that the injured man intended to cut the canister, and in doing so, he triggered the blast. He claimed the canister was one meter tall, but other witnesses said it was smaller.

"It might be because of the hot weather, which caused the air to expand and triggered the explosion," the woman speculated.

The exact cause of the explosion is still unknown.

Police were unable to comment Tuesday.

Wu Kameng contributed to this story

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