At least eight people died and nearly 70 were injured on Thursday in an explosion at a kindergarten in Fengxian County in east China's Jiangsu Province, the state media reported. The Chinese authorities have started an investigation of the blast that left victims bleeding and weeping on the ground.
According to the county government, the blast occurred around 4:48 pm at the gate of the kindergarten. Two people died at the scene, and another six died later in hospital. The government said on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform that no kindergarten students or teachersare among the dead.
The officialXinhua news agency reported that police had made a preliminary judgment that the blast was a "criminal offence", and they had identified a suspect.
Several images of the blast were posted by the state media showed victims strewn on the concrete, some with their clothes torn off by the force of the blast while one woman clutched a screaming child.
Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun has ordered a "prompt" investigation into the cause and "demanded enhanced checks of possible risks at densely populated venues", Xinhua news agency said. His deputy was dispatched to the area to conduct the probe.
The Global Times and China Youth Daily newspapers cited witnesses as saying that a gas cylinder at a food stall had exploded. While, some people posted on Weibo that the use of gas canisters by roadside food stalls posed a danger.
Some people on China's Twitter-like Weibo website said the use of gas canisters by roadside food stalls posed a danger.
"China's small restaurants are landmines, and every mobile street vendor is a moving bomb," one person wrote on Weibo. Another person posted: "How can the city management officers allow a vendor to set up a stall at a school entrance with a gas fuel canister?"
This is the latest tragedy to strike a kindergarten in China in recent weeks. In May, a school bus packed with kindergarten pupils erupted in flames inside a tunnel in eastern Shandong province, killing 11 children, a teacher and the driver.