BEIJING (AP) — An explosion at a stall selling fireworks in southwestern China killed four people and injured four others on the eve of the Lunar New Year holiday, authorities said Friday.
The information office in Tonghai county in Yunnan province said the blast occurred at around 11 p.m. Thursday. It said the cause of the explosion is under investigation.
Friday marked the start of China’s most important traditional holiday, with tens of millions traveling across the vast nation for family reunions.
Fireworks have generally been a major part of the festivities, although authorities have cracked down on the practice for safety reasons and to cut down on air pollution.
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Cities such as Beijing and Shanghai that used to shake from fireworks have been eerily quiet this year.
Fireworks have formed an important part of many rural economies and accidents frequently happened in past because of unsafe storage and transportation.