At least 7 have been killed in an explosion at a kindergarten in eastern China’s Jiangsu province on Thursday, news agency AP reported. According to state media, photos reportedly from the scene of the incident which were posted on social media, showed some children and adults lying on the ground bleeding.
The blast happened at around 4:50 p.m. at the front gate of the kindergarten in Fengxian County in east China’s Jiangsu Province when children were leaving the school, officials were quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency.
Pictures and videos posted online showed at least a dozen people lying outside the gate of the kindergarten and one woman was seen clutching her child, who is in tears.
Footage of the scene showed some people covered in blood while others appeared to be unconscious and some even with their clothes burned off. Children were seen among the injured.
“About 5 pm, we heard a blast and thought it might have been a gas explosion at a nearby food vendor,” a local shop owner was quoted as saying by online news portal Sohu. “Many people could be dead,” he said.
In one video clip posted online, a man covered in blood was seen trying to stand up only to collapse again. His clothes appeared to have been burned off.
In a separate video clip, people could be heard shouting: “Blast, blast, dial 110 quickly!” The gate of the kindergarten appeared to have been horribly bent, with shattered glass littering the scene.
It is the latest tragedy to strike a kindergarten in China in recent weeks.
A school bus packed with kindergarten 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.
China in the past witnessed knife attacks on kindergarten school children by disgruntled people. An explosion of this magnitude was rare.
In January a man armed with a kitchen knife stabbed and wounded 11 children at a kindergarten in southern Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.
(With inputs from agencies)