JIANZHUANGZI, CHINA (BNO NEWS) — An explosion ripped through an illegal fireworks workshop in northern China on late Monday morning, killing five members of a family who were working there, state-run media reported. The cause was not immediately known.
The accident happened at around 11 a.m. local time at a house in Jianzhuangzi, a village in Lulong county of Hebei province, according to a brief report from the state-run Xinhua news agency. It said the accident took place at a makeshift workshop where fireworks was being made illegally.
Xinhua identified the victims as a married couple and three other family members or relatives.
Most firework-related accidents happen in China as it is the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter of fireworks. The majority of these accidents occur towards the end of the Gregorian calendar’s year when demand for fireworks is high in all parts of the world, but demand is also high for the traditional Chinese New Year’s holiday.
Earlier this month, at least 39 people were killed and 60 others were injured when a fast-moving fire swept through a fireworks factory in southern India, making it one of the worst ever disasters of its kind. And in May 2000, 23 people were killed and nearly 950 others were injured when a massive fireworks explosion devastated a neighborhood in the Dutch city of Enschede.