China fireworks factory
© ChinaFotoPress
Smoke rises out of the remains of the fireworks factory
A massive explosion Wednesday at a fireworks plant in southern China killed three people and injured 53, while shattering windows of homes in the area, officials and state media reports said.

One additional person was missing from the blast that shook Hongsheng Fireworks Plant in a village outside the city of Shangrao in Jiangxi province, state-run Xinhua News Agency said. A local government confirmed the incident on its official website and said that about 1,000 people were evacuated from the area.

The blast was so strong that doors and windows of residential homes in the area were destroyed with glass shards scattered around, the district government of Guangfeng said.

It said the cause of the blast was under investigation and that the factory had the safety license to operate.

Last week, an explosion at a fireworks factory in the central Chinese province of Henan killed 10 people and injured seven.

China is about two and a half weeks away from Lunar New Year celebrations, when holiday revelers set off fireworks. There are frequent fireworks-related incidents at factories in the weeks leading to the holiday, as China generally has a poor record in workplace safety.

Source: Associated Press