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Officials: Chemicals behind China internet cafe blast

By the CNN Wire Staff
Only one of the 45 people inside the Internet cafe at the time of the blast was not injured, according to Xinhua.
Only one of the 45 people inside the Internet cafe at the time of the blast was not injured, according to Xinhua.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Seven people were killed and 37 were injured at an internet cafe
  • Police suspect that stored chemicals next door were responsible
  • A man was arrested for illegal possession of chemicals
RELATED TOPICS
  • China

Beijing (CNN) -- Stored chemicals were believed to be behind an explosion that killed seven people and injured 37 at an Internet cafe in southern China, state-run media reported Sunday.

The explosion occurred Saturday night in downtown Kaili City, located in Guizhou province, according to the Xinhua news agency, which cited the province's public security department. Pictures from the scene show the building torn to shreds, its contents largely unrecognizable and many walls ripped down.

The explosion happened in a shop where sodium nitrate and other explosive chemicals were stored, a spokesman for the Kaili municipal government told Xinhua. The shop was adjacent to the Internet cafe.

Police arrested one man, Wu Zhanzhi, for illegal possession of chemicals, Xinhua reported. The boss and manager of the Internet cafe were also in police custody for questioning, the agency said.

Only one of the 45 people inside the Internet cafe at the time of the blast was not injured, according to Xinhua. Of the 37 injured, seven were seriously wounded, but were in stable condition.

One victim, who suffered burns to her face, told Xinhua said that chaos ensued after the explosion.

"The ceiling fell down after the blast. Someone pushed me down in the chaos, others stamped on me," she said.

Rescue workers said the windows of nearby residential buildings were also blown out.

Kaili is an inland city in the Miag-Dong Autonomous Prefecture of Qiandongnan, about 175 km (108 miles) east of Guiyang.