Beijing (Reuters): At least two people were killed in a fireworks explosion in northern China 's Tangshan city, state media reported on Saturday.

State broadcaster CCTV released footage of the blast site showing thick smoke rising from houses and people gathering on top of debris.

The incident happened at about 1:00 p.m. (0500 GMT) and was caused by "individual's illegal storage of fireworks ", it quoted the local public security department as saying.

Suspects were in custody and further investigation was underway, CCTV reported.

Blasts at firework factories, many unlicensed and run with little regard for safety, are common in China , where firecrackers are let off enthusiastically at weddings and especially at the start of the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, which falls on January 28 in 2017.