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Eye horror of Korea train blast children.

A BOY lies bandaged and grimacing in a hospital bed a victim of North Korea's devastating train blast.

He was among 1300 injured following Friday's explosion in the secretive Communist state.

The United Nations said many were children with eye injuries.

The world only began to see the extent of the disaster yesterday as international aid agencies swung into action.

At least 161 people died when a train carrying oil and chemicals blew up at Ryongchon station.

A school took the brunt of the blast and 8100 homes were damaged or destroyed. Aid workers described huge craters and twisted rails.

The UN gave out food, hygiene kits and water purifying tablets. Aid chief Brendan McDonald said: 'The immediate needs for the homeless are under control.

'The main concern is for those in hospital.'

Most of the injured were moved to the city of Sinuiju before foreign aid arrived. A hospital there said they had treated 360 people.

The UN said 60 per cent were children who were struck by a wave of glass, rubble and heat. The hospitals are cramped and poorly equipped.

Last night, America who named North Korea in the 'axis of evil' after the September 11 attacks pledged to help.

South Korea, China, Japan, Australia and Russia are already sending aid.

CAPTION(S):

AGONY: His fist clenched, an injured boy lies in a hospital bed; DESPERATE: Victims of the blast lying together
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 27, 2004
Words:235
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