WATCH: Monstrous Firework Store Explosion in Hunan Kills 6
A firework store explosion in central China’s Hunan province has left six dead just days before the start of the Spring Festival.
The explosion occurred shortly after 21:00 on January 24th after a couple of people began testing fireworks less than 10 meters away from a firework store in Hunan’s Yueyang city.
According to local media reports, one of the fireworks being tested shot straight into the store before igniting a pile of firecrackers and setting off a chain reaction of explosions. Six people suffocated to death in the smoke.
The explosion and ensuing fire took almost an hour and a half and a team of 84 firemen with 14 fire trucks to extinguish.
Several Chinese news sources are reporting that three party members have been fired as a result of the blaze.
The period around Chinese new year is traditionally a time where people around the country stockpile fireworks in preparation for the holiday. The fireworks are set off at various points throughout the holiday as a way to drive away evil and welcome Caishen, the God of Fortune.
In recent years Shanghai’s government as well as several other cities across the country have banned the use of fireworks within the city limits as both a safety precaution and as a way to reduce air pollution.