20 killed in China tunnel blast

A blast in a tunnel has killed 20 workers at a road construction site in central China.

The explosion in Hunan province also injured one person, said two officials from the provincial work safety bureau.

The blast occurred when a vehicle was unloading explosives in the tunnel on a road under construction between Yanling and Rucheng in Hunan, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Twenty workers died in the blast and one body has been recovered, Xinhua said.

Four other workers escaped with injuries, and one was taken to hospital in critical condition.

Accidents and explosions are common in China due to lax enforcement of safety standards.

In November, an explosion in south western China killed at least seven people and injured about 200.

It was caused by three explosives-laden vehicles that caught fire and also destroyed a garage and a food warehouse.


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