February 2, 2006

Four detained for China New Year firecracker blast

BEIJING (Reuters) - Four executives from a firecracker
company have been detained in connection with explosions in the
central province of Henan that killed 36 people celebrating the
first day of the Lunar New Year, state media said on Thursday.

Sunday's series of blasts, which injured another 48 people,
many attending a temple fair, took place in the storehouse of
the Lilin firecracker company, the official Xinhua news agency

"Investigation showed that improper storage of the
firecrackers is to blame for the explosion," the report said.

A firecracker thrown by a child into the storehouse in the
Henan town of Linqi was the trigger for the string of
explosions, but investigators also launched a criminal
investigation to look into possible negligence on the part of
the managers.

Fireworks and firecrackers have been going off all week as
Chinese celebrate the start of the Year of the Dog, a tradition
believed to scare off evil spirits and attract the god of