updated 11/29/2007 2:20:01 AM ET 2007-11-29T07:20:01

An explosion in a fireworks factory in central China killed 11 people and injured eight, the government's Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday.

The explosion late Wednesday afternoon reduced part of the Yangquan Xingtong Fireworks Co. workshop — on the rural outskirts of Yangquan city — to rubble, and it was not known whether others were buried in the blast, Xinhua said.

The cause of the explosion was under investigation, Xinhua said.

Accidents in Chinese factories are common, with thousands dying every year in part because of lax enforcement of safety rules.

Explosions in fireworks factories, many of them illegal, are common. The day before the Yangquan blast, 13 people died in an accident in a fireworks factory in the southern province of Hunan.

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