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14 students dead in E. China snack bar blast

(Xinhua)    10:02, October 12, 2015
14 students dead in E. China snack bar blast

Fourteen students were among 17 dead in a restaurant blast in east China's Anhui Province on Saturday, according to the local government Sunday.

The dead students, aged 15 to 20, came from nearby schools. Three other men aged between 33 and 59, including a father and his son, were also killed. Many of deaths were caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.

A gas cylinder at the private restaurant, located on the first floor of a six-storey building in Jinghu District of Wuhu City, caught fire at 11:44 a.m. Saturday, followed by a blast six minutes later, according to an initial investigation.

The fire was put out in about half an hour. Rescuers retrieved 17 bodies.

The owner of the snack bar, Zhang Baoping, a 38-year-old man from Hanshan County of Anhui, has been put under police investigation.

The snack bar opened on Aug. 18 without an official license, according to the investigation.

Zhang said he and his wife rented the restaurant more than two months ago to sell snacks including fried noodles.

When the accident happened, he tried to put out the fire with water and a fire extinguisher, but the blast followed shortly after. Both he and his wife were injured. A witness said that he heard at least two blasts.

More than 30 firefighters participated in the rescue work. Further investigation is still underway.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Liang Jun,Bianji)

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