BEIJING — An explosion near a kindergarten in eastern China that killed eight people and injured dozens of others has been preliminarily labelled as criminal, the local government said Friday.
Police have identified a suspect, the Xuzhou city government in Jiangsu province said in a Weibo post.
The blast happened at 4:48 p.m. on Thursday, as relatives were waiting to pick up pupils from Chuangxin Kindergarten in Fengxian County at the end of the school day, police said.
Two people were found dead near the kindergarten entrance, and six others died later at hospital, the local government said.
Authorities also said Thursday that a total of 66 people had been injured, including those who died.
The kindergarten was still in session when the explosion happened, so no pupils and teachers were among those injured, the local government said.
Photos and videos posted on social media, however, showed adults and children lying on the ground, some of them bleeding.
A video that was apparently shot at the hospital showed adults and children receiving emergency treatment.
Local newspaper Xiandaikuaibao reported that the blast appeared to have been caused by a cooking gas container.
Witnesses said on social media that the explosion might have occurred at a nearby food stall.
Police did not specify what caused the explosion.
The public security ministry sent a team to investigate the explosion, state media reported.