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Pakistani village blast kills 49


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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Explosives stored in a road builder's home have detonated killing at least 49 people and injuring another 132 in a remote Pakistani village, local police said.

Investigators called it an accident caused by a house fire that quickly spread through the village of Ghair until it reached the contractor's home at about 2 a.m. on Sunday (2100 GMT Saturday).

The fire apparently started with an electrical short circuit in a house several doors away from where the blast was centered, a Pakistan Interior Ministry official said.

Ghair, a small village in Pakistan's Diamir district about 65 km (40 miles) from the city of Gilgit, was substantially damaged, the official said.

As daylight broke, rescuers were still searching the ruins for victims.

The explosives stored in the contractor's house were intended for use in blasting rock by road construction crews.

It was unclear why the contractor, who was among the dead, stored them in his home.

Officials said the number of casualties was high in part because residents of nearby villages were in the area helping fight the house fires that led to the blast.


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