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Mystery China hospital blast kills 27

Written by: Staff
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BEIJING, Apr 10 (Reuters) An explosion at a hospital China's northern province of Shanxi today destroyed several buildings and killed 27 people, mostly staff and relatives, Xinhua news agency said, adding some were still missing.

The source of the blast was a garage in the Xuangang Coaland Power Co. Hospital in the small city of Yuanping, the agency said.

A two-storey residential building and several houses were destroyed, Xinhua said. Buildings within a 1-km (half-mile) radius suffered damage. A five-storey staff building was damaged seriously.

''Most of the victims were hospital staff and their family members,'' Li Jianzhang, an official with the Xuangang company, was quoted as saying.

An official with the Yuanping Health Bureau told Reuters the cause of the explosion was unknown.

A resident who lives about 2 km from the blast told Reuters that windows in her neighbourhood were broken when the blast shook the city in the early hours of the morning.

A fire at a hospital in northeastern Jilin province killed 39 patients last December.

REUTERS SRS VC2305

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