Three workers remain missing in blast in E China Wang Yousheng, a 51-year-old worker in the coal mine of Subang village, Fujian province, ...
Three workers remain missing in blast in E China
Wang Yousheng, a 51-year-old worker in the coal mine of Subang village, Fujian province, receives medical treatment at Longyan First Hospital on Monday. Photo by Tan Zongyang / China Daily
Two men and a woman were confirmed missing in a blast that killed nine people and injured 55 in Longyan, in Fujian province, local authorities said on Monday.
The three people, who were not found in hospitals or funeral homes by local police, are workers at an auto repair facility in Subang village, in Longyan's Xinluo district, which was destroyed in an explosion at about 10:30 am on Sunday.
"Our rescue team found pieces of human limbs in the debris. Until medical tests are completed, we will not know whether the three people were killed in the accident," You Buzheng, spokeswoman of the Longyan public security bureau, said on Monday.
You said it was still not known whether there were victims buried in the rubble. She added that the search of the site would continue.
Sunday's blast ripped through the auto repair facility, toppling a nearby four-story residential building. Thirty-six people were hospitalized, three of whom were in serious condition, according to authorities.
The police discovered that the accident was due to the illegal storage of explosives in the 600-square-meter garage, owned by Chen Qinrong, who is also the head of Subang village.
Chen, a suspect in the accident, was arrested when he tried to escape from the scene, You said. But she refused to disclose why Chen stored the explosives there or how they exploded while the case was under investigation.
Local media reported that Chen was giving a banquet in his garage and many workers were there when the accident took place.
Xie Nanshan, a 36-year-old driver who works at the garage, said he was washing his car in front of the auto repair facility's gate when the blast occurred.
"First, I saw a sudden outbreak of fire, then a row of motorcycles in the garage were blasted off, followed by a big 'bang' and a shockwave that overturned me," he said, while lying on a bed in Longyan First Hospital, with nasotracheal tubes and bandages on his hands and legs.
"I couldn't believe my eyes when I regained consciousness. People were lying on the ground silently, and buildings, cars and the brick wall were destroyed into rubble. My body hurt so much and I felt like falling apart. Then the local residents came to my rescue, following the ambulance that took me to the hospital."
Wang Yousheng, a 51-year-old worker in the coal mine of Subang village, was sleeping on the second floor of the residential building when the accident happened.
"I heard my workmate hastily knock on my door and shout: 'Run away'. I was about to escape, but the whole door was blasted off," he recalled.
"I made my way downstairs through the dark dust and saw that many of my neighbors were injured and trying to flee from the building," he said.
Qiu Yongrong, deputy head of the Longyan First Hospital, said the hospital was giving medical treatment to most of those injured in the accident.
Two of the people in serious condition, a man and a woman, were still in the hospital's intensive care unit. A medical expert panel had been organized to observe their condition, Qiu said.
The third victim, a man, was said to be in critical condition at Longyan Second Hospital.
Longyan, an inland city in Fujian that borders the provinces of Guangdong to the south and Jiangxi to the west, is rich in natural resources.
The city government plans to carry out a comprehensive inspection of illegal explosives throughout its districts and villages, after the deadly explosion.