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At least 7 dead, 94 injured after blast rips through housing complex in northwestern China

A blast ripped through a residential building in Yulin prefectural level city, Shaanxi province on Monday , killing at least seven and injuring 94.

The explosion occurred at 2pm in Fugu county.

Xinhua reported an initial investigation indicates that the explosion took place at a makeshift prefabricated house, which had been built inside a residential compound.

It remains unclear what caused the explosion, Xinhua reported. But the local Huashang Daily quoted some local residents as saying that it was ignited by explosives that were illegally stored in the basement of the building.

Smoke and dust obscure the view after the explosion in Yulin. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Cars and buildings near the site sustained heavy damage, and scores were injured. Some were were rushed to hospital with serious head injuries, Huashang Daily said.

The blast left a crater about 4 metres wide and 2 metres deep.

Video footage showed heavy damage to the building and others nearby, with dense smoke and debris strewn across the street. Some victims lay motionless on the ground, while others bleeding heavily walked around seeking help.

Police, firefighters and nearby residents searched for other casualties among the debris of collapsed structures.

The township’s hospital was among nearby buildings that were heavily damaged.