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Dozen dead in fireworks warehouse blast

The explosion in Thailand has claimed 12 lives and wounded more than 120 people

The death toll from a powerful explosion inside a warehouse packed with fireworks in southern Thailand rose to 12 people on Sunday, officials said. 

The authorities of the Narathiwat province, which shares the border with Malaysia, said that 121 people were wounded and that the blast damaged 292 houses. They added that the majority of the injured have been discharged from medical facilities, and only one person remains in critical condition. 

The incident occurred in the village of Muno in the Sungai Kolok district on Saturday. Governor Sanan Pong-aksorn told reporters that the warehouse, which stood outside a crowded market, was initially used as a grocery shop. At least 5 tons of fireworks had been kept in the storage, officials said. 

According to police, the blast was likely caused by a spark from a welding torch when a worker was repairing a steel shelf. The regional police chief said that the owner of the storage space was charged with negligence.

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The authorities are checking if the fireworks factory was operating under a license, and have ordered to inspect dozens of warehouses in the province.