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Burma Warehouse Explosion Kills at Least 17


Firemen look around at the scene of an explosion at a warehouse in Rangoon, Burma, December 29, 2011.

Firemen look around at the scene of an explosion at a warehouse in Rangoon, Burma, December 29, 2011.

An explosion at a warehouse in Burma's largest city has killed at least 17 people and injured more than 100.

Authorities said firefighters were fighting a blaze in the Rangoon warehouse district before dawn Thursday when the explosion occurred. Conflicting reports said the building was housing gunpowder, chemicals or medical equipment.

French news agency AFP quoted an official saying investigators had ruled out the possibility that the blast was caused by a bomb.

Officials said the fire spread quickly to several buildings in the tightly packed warehouse district and destroyed about 50 homes, leaving hundreds of people homeless.

A local hospital said 108 people were brought in for treatment as a result of the blast. Many of those killed and injured were firefighters.

The explosion left a crater estimated at more than 6 meters wide and 4 meters deep.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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