The death toll in China had risen to 12

Rescuers at the site of a massive chemical explosion in southern China said the death toll had risen to 12, with two other people still missing and 43 injured, the official China Daily newspaper said Thursday.

The explosion of the truck carrying 18 tons of nitramine, a highly volatile chemical used for detonators in explosives, occurred Monday in Mile County in Yunnan province. The death toll rose by one to 12, and 43 others were injured, the newspaper said.

News photos showed a row of two-story buildings with walls blown out and roofs torn away. The China Daily said 66 houses were damaged by the blast, including 17 that were completely destroyed. Truck driver Li Hongwen parked the cargo truck near his home on Monday instead of delivering the nitramine to a chemical warehouse as he was expected to do.

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