05/13/2005, 00.00
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Two killed, 24 injured in Shenzhen gas blasts

Shenzhen (AsiaNews/Scmp) - Two people have been killed and 24 injured in explosions in Shenzhen over the past two days.

A blast at Early Light International Holdings' factory in Longgang district killed one worker. Eight others were admitted to hospital after welding sparks ignited nitrogen in a diesel tank under repair on Wednesday morning. Six of the injured are in critical condition.

A factory spokesman said maintenance workers had failed to release all the nitrogen, which was used to check for leaks, before welding cracks on the tank. A house standing on top of the tank was destroyed in the explosion. The factory employs 17,000 workers.

Yesterday morning, an accident triggered four explosions within 30 minutes at a construction site in Futian, one of Shenzhen's busiest districts, when workers broke a gas duct. Eighteen people were taken to hospitals, one of whom was later certified dead. Most of the injured were onlookers drawn to the site after the first explosion.

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