Apartment building explosion in northeast China kills 3, injures dozens

HARBIN, China, Oct. 4 (UPI) — A series of explosions rocked a high-rise building in the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin on Tuesday, killing three people.

The explosions took place in the capital of Heilongjiang Province around 4:40 a.m. local time, China National Radio reported.

Dozens of people were injured and three died after parts of the 14-story building at 918 Jingjiang West Rd. were badly damaged.

The casualties reportedly were thrown out of the building due to the impact of the explosion, according to eyewitnesses. Injured victims were rushed to a nearby hospital after firefighters and paramedics arrived on the scene, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

Eyewitnesses also said the explosions continued for about 10 minutes, and that all the glass windows of the 14th floor of the building were shattered.

The 13th, 14th and 15th floors of the building were all damaged, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua.

Local residents said early Tuesday dozens were injured and still on site, including at least one child.

Authorities in Harbin say the explosion was probably due to a gas leak and are investigating.

The building elevator is also no longer in operation but all 120 residents were evacuated, according to CNR.

Harbin is widely known for its annual Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival.

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