China Fireworks Blast Kills 25

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Beijing (AP) Chinese television reports a fireworks explosion has killed at least 25 people. Nine others were hurt and five are missing.

China central television says the firecrackers had been trucked to the Gobi Desert to be destroyed and blew up as they were being dumped into a ditch. Footage shows blackened sand surrounded by the hulks of burned out SUVS, one of them flipped upside down.

China's Xinhua news agency says boxes of firecrackers filled eight trucks.

Firefighters had to keep well away because of the continuing explosions and it took about an hour to put out the blaze.

The news agency reports police officers and reporters who had gone to cover the event were among the casualties.