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China kindergarten blast suspect under police scanner; death toll at eight

The provincial govt has ordered checks of possible safety risks at the production site

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, medical workers transport a person injured in an explosion outside a kindergarten into a hospital in Fengxian County in eastern China's Jiangsu Province early Friday
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, medical workers transport a person injured in an explosion outside a kindergarten into a hospital in Fengxian County in eastern China's Jiangsu Province early Friday

The Chinese police have "targeted" a suspect in the at the entrance of a in east China's Fengzian County, as the death toll in the climbed to eight, the state media reported on Friday.

Sixty-six people were in a that rocked the on Thursday, while no or teachers were among the casualties, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.


One of the died at the hospital later, it said.

Calling it a "criminal offence", the police have "targeted" the suspect, the report said, without providing further details.

The occurred around 4:48 PM (local time) on Thursday. Two persons were killed on the spot, and another six died later in a hospital. The condition of eight among the remained critical, doctors said.

More than 10 senior doctors from Nanjing and Wuxi cities of Jiangsu have rushed to the site of the

A working team led by Huang Ming, deputy minister of public security, has been sent to investigate the that occurred as parents were about to pick up their from the

The provincial government has ordered checks of possible safety risks at the production site, the Xinhua report said.

A witness told Hong Kong-based South Morning Post that the came just minutes before the end-of-day bell rang.

"At about 5pm, we heard a and thought it might have been a gas at a nearby food vendor," a local owner was quoted as saying by online news portal Sohu.

"Many people might be dead," he said.

Another owner near the kindergarten, who refused to be identified, told the Post that the happened a few minutes before the opened its doors to allow parents go inside the

"The parents were all queueing up at the gate at the time," the owner said.

Because the happened just outside the grounds, the pupils waiting inside classrooms would probably have been shielded from injury, he said.

The owner said his daughter also attended the yesterday and was later taken home safely by her grandfather.

Many cooked food stalls operated outside the and a gas cylinder might have caused the explosion, he said.

It is the latest tragedy to strike a in in recent weeks.

A bus packed with pupils erupted in flames inside a tunnel in eastern Shandong province on May 9, killing 11 children, a teacher and the driver.

Officials later said the fire was intentionally set by the driver, who was angry at losing overtime wages.

in the past witnessed knife attacks on by disgruntled people. An of this magnitude was rare.

In January, a man armed with a kitchen knife stabbed and wounded 11 at a in southern Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

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