Blast at fireworks workshop kills 16 in China

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BEIJING, Oct 23 (Reuters) An explosion at an unlicensed fireworks workshop in southwestern China has killed 16 people and injured 15, local media reported today.

The explosion early on Sunday morning in remote Xiushan county, in southwestern Chongqing, destroyed three nearby houses and left one person missing, the Beijing News said.

''Casualties may rise as rescuers search through the wreckage,'' Xinhua news agency said in a separate report, citing sources.

Three people among the injured, including two children, were ''severely wounded'', the agency said.

Rescue work was under way, and the cause was being investigated, Xinhua said.

Reuters AK VP0725

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