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Firework blast hits China's Tangshan, two reported dead

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Two people have been reported killed after a firework explosion on the outskirts of Tangshan in northern China's Hebei province on Saturday.

The explosion took place at 1 p.m. in a village in the steel producing district of Fengrun, state media reported.

Footage and photographs circulated on social media showed large plumes of smoke drifting over a cluster of houses, one of which had been reduced to rubble as a result of the blast. Rescue workers were at the scene.

The official Xinhua news agency said on its Twitter-like Weibo microblog that a preliminary investigation showed the explosion was caused by a private stash of fireworks. A suspect had already been detained by police, it said.

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(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Catherine Evans)