Explosion kills 25 at karaoke bar in northeast China


Beijing : An explosion killed at least 25 people and injured 33 as it destroyed a karaoke bar in northeastern China's Liaoning province, state media and local officials said Thursday.

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The explosion ripped through the two-storey Tianying Karaoke Parlour at about 9 p.m. local time on Wednesday in Tianshifu township near Liaoning's Benxi city.

Local rescue officials had recovered 25 bodies after completing their search of debris from the building by midday Thursday.

Four of the 33 injured were in serious condition at a local hospital.

The owner of the roadside karaoke bar, which doubled as a bathhouse, was among the dead.

Police were still investigating the cause of the explosion and planned to question the owner's wife and several staff, officials said.

Some of the guests were holding a birthday party when the explosion flattened the building, a Tianshifu official said.

Rubble from the karaoke parlour covered an area of 300 square metres and buried several vehicles.

The powerful blast also smashed windows and roof tiles and cut electricity cables serving homes in the area, reports said.

"I was watching my grandson studying his lessons when we suddenly heard a big bang, then the door burst open under the effect of a powerful shockwave and the lights went out," Chen Xiaohong, a 77-year-old who lived 50 metres from the bar, told the agency.

Workers restored power supplies to homes near the karaoke parlour on Thursday.