Dandong, China — A source in North Korea informed the Daily NK on the 11th that there was a train explosion incident in Hyangsan, North Pyongan on November 12th that left 8 passengers dead.
The source said that “The train, traveling between Pyongyang and Manpo, was carrying a shipment of butane gas tanks when it suddenly burst into flames. It is speculated that the explosion resulted from a cigarette that was lit in the vicinity of a gas leak coming from the tanks, however this has yet to be confirmed.”
People use butane gas for lighters in North Korea and can refuel lighters at street stalls everywhere.
The source relayed that the Rail Safety Agents are undergoing interrogation, suspected of taking bribes in return for allowing traders to load butane gas tanks on the train. The wounded passengers were taken to the People’s Hospital of Hyangsan for treatment of their injuries.
According to the source this is the second serious explosion since last July. The first occurred at the “January 20 Munitions Factory” located in Eundeuk, North Hamkyung Province. Resulting from the ignition of large stores of gunpowder, it produced mass casualties.
The January 20 Munitions Factory manufactures trench mortars, cannon balls, anti-tank guided missiles and bombs for aircrafts.
The source reported that around 50 workers having their lunch died in the factory and around 100 workers were wounded. However, the numbers were relatively small considering that most of the workers had left the factory on their lunch hour.
Party authorities in Eundeuk considered this incident to have been the work of spies and started educating workers on anti-socialist activity. However, the explosion was later found to have been caused by an electrical fault.