Myanmar police: Yangon blast kills 17, injures 80

December 29, 2011 02:36

YANGON - At least 17 people died and 80 were injured in an unexplained explosion in an eastern suburb of Myanmar's biggest city, Yangon, at about 2:00 a.m on Thursday (1930 GMT on Wednesday), police said.

Witnesses had earlier said about 50 dead bodies had been found, but a police officer said 12 men and five women had been confirmed dead as of 6:00 a.m.

Witnesses heard one big explosion then several smaller ones.

"There are many casualties. We are not in a position to give you further information. We are still looking into it," a second police officer from Mingalar Taungnyunt Township Police Station told Reuters.

The shock from the loud explosion, apparently in a storage warehouse in Sat San Ward in Mingalar Taungnyunt, was felt by many people in eastern and central Yangon.

Fire engines from all parts of Yangon were at the scene, witnesses said. Fire was reported to have spread to a nearby shipyard and factories.

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