Deadly blast at kindergarten in eastern China

An explosion rocked a kindergarten in eastern China on Thursday, killing at least seven people and injuring dozens, authorities said, as state media published images showing bloodied and unconscious victims.

The explosion happened at the school’s gates, police in the city of Xuzhou said in a statement.

Images circulating online showed that the force of the blast tore people’s clothes off and one woman was seen clutching her child, who is in tears.

Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun ordered a “prompt” investigation into the cause and “demanded enhanced checks of possible risks at densely populated venues,” the official Xinhua news agency said. His deputy was dispatched to the area to conduct the probe.

At least seven people were killed and 66 injured, including nine seriously, according to Xuzhou city government. Two died at the site of the explosion and five while being treated.

Xinhua said children were leaving school when the blast occurred, but the Fengxian county government said class was ongoing and teachers and students were not among the casualties. (AFP)

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Residents stand outside the kindergarten gate

Residents stand outside the gate of a kindergarten, where an explosion occurred a day earlier, in Fengxian in China’s eastern Jiangsu province on June 16, 2017. (Photo: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images)

Investigators work at the scene

Investigators work at the scene of an explosion inside a kindergarten in Fengxian County in Jiangsu Province, China, June 16, 2017. (Photo: Aly Song/Reuters)

A person sweeps near the scene

A person wearing protection on his shoes and head, sweeps near the scene of an explosion at a kindergarten in Fengxian County in Jiangsu Province, China, June 16, 2017. (Photo: Aly Song/Reuters)

Investigators work at the scene

Investigators work at the scene of an explosion inside a kindergarten in Fengxian County in Jiangsu Province, China , June 16, 2017. (Photo: Aly Song/Reuters)

A policeman walks at the scene

A policeman walks at the scene of an explosion inside a kindergarten in Fengxian County in Jiangsu Province, China, June 16, 2017. (Photo: Aly Song/Reuters)

Chinese writing on a wall near the scene

Chinese characters reading “crime equals to giving birth, two people crime, two people die, group crime, group die, country crimes, country dies, ethnic crimes, ethnic dies, India China Bangladesh, none will have a good end” are seen on a wall inside a residential building next to the scene of an explosion inside a kindergarten in Fengxian County of Xuzhou in Jiangsu Province, China, June 16, 2017. (Photo: Aly Song/Reuters)

A gate is seen at the scene of an explosion

A gate is seen at the scene of an explosion at a kindergarten in Fengxian County in Jiangsu Province, China , June 16, 2017. (Photo: Aly Song/Reuters)

Security personnel gather at the scene

Security personnel gather at the scene of an explosion at a kindergarten in Fengxian County in Jiangsu Province, China , June 16, 2017. (Photo: Aly Song/Reuters)

Investigators work at the scene

Investigators work at the scene of an explosion inside a kindergarten in Fengxian County in Jiangsu Province, China , June 16, 2017. (Photo: Aly Song/Reuters)

Police officers peer over a screen

Police officers peer over a screen placed outside a kindergarten where an explosion killed 8 people and injured dozens a day earlier, in Fengxian, in China’s eastern Jiangsu province on June 16, 2017. (Photo: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images)

Investigators work at the scene

Investigators work at the scene of an explosion inside a kindergarten in Fengxian County in Jiangsu Province, China , June 16, 2017. (Photo: Aly Song/Reuters)

Onlookers and security personnel gather

Onlookers and security personnel gather near the scene of an explosion at a kindergarten in Fengxian County in Jiangsu Province, China, June 16, 2017. (Photo: Aly Song/Reuters)

Medical workers transport an injured person

Medical workers transport a person injured in an explosion outside a kindergarten into a hospital in Fengxian County in eastern China’s Jiangsu Province early Friday, June 16, 2017. (Photo: Li Xiang/Xinhua via AP)

Investigators work at the scene early Friday

Investigators work early Friday, June 16, 2017, at the scene of an explosion outside a kindergarten in Fengxian County in eastern China’s Jiangsu Province. (Photo: Li Xiang/Xinhua via AP)

Investigators work at the scene early Friday

Investigators work early Friday, June 16, 2017, at the scene of an explosion outside a kindergarten in Fengxian County in eastern China’s Jiangsu Province. (Photo: Li Xiang/Xinhua via AP)

Map showing Fengxian

Map showing the localtion of the Kindergarten explosion in Fengxian in Jiangsu province, China. (Photo: AFP )