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Massive blast in Chinese port city kills 2, injures 30

PTI | Beijing |

A major explosion in the port city of Ningbo in China’s east Zhejiang province on Sunday killed two persons and injured over 30 others as it knocked down nearby buildings, officials said.

Videos and pictures on a government-run news portal showed plumes of white smoke above the city, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

The accident took place at 8:50 AM (local time) in Jiangbei district, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Several buildings saw their roofs collapse and windows shatter due to the blast whose cause was not immediately known.

Many residential communities were affected by the blast which shattered windows of buildings up to a kilometre from the blast site. The cause of the explosion was unknown.

Officials said that two persons were killed and more than 30 others taken to hospitals.

Fang, the owner of a restaurant at West Lijia road, said his that food joint, located a km from the explosion site, was damaged.

He said the blast took place inside a roadside house that was used for commercial purposes and was due to be demolished soon.

A restaurant owner near the explosion site, surnamed Dong, told the Post that his shop was about 500 metres away from the explosion site and all windows facing the scene of the blast had been damaged.

A staff at a hotel at about a kilometre away from the explosion site said that “dozens of windows” were shattered in the explosion.

China has suffered major industrial explosions in the past. Two blasts in the port city of Tianjin in 2015 killed 173 people including firefighters and injured hundreds.