May 29, 2024

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31 dead after a gas explosion in a barbecue restaurant in China

CGTN

Emergency workers respond to a gas explosion at a barbecue restaurant in Yinchuan, Ningxia, China, on June 21.



CNN

At least 31 people were killed and seven others injured in Yinchuan City in northwest China’s Ningxia Region after a gas explosion at a barbecue restaurant Wednesday night, according to state media.

The explosion was caused by a leaking liquefied gas tank inside the restaurant and occurred around 8:40 pm, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

Among the seven injured, one is still in critical condition. The other six are being treated in hospital for minor injuries, burns and glass wounds.

Local fire authorities have dispatched 20 vehicles and more than 100 personnel to the scene, and search and rescue operations are continuing until 4 a.m. Thursday, according to state media.

Pictures released by state media show the damaged building, with blackened exteriors, debris on the ground, and smoke in the air. Firefighters were seen entering the second floor on a ladder and carrying people on stretchers.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping He called the outburst “heartbreaking”, and said it was a “profound lesson”. He instructed the authorities at the scene, demanding “all efforts” to treat the injured, strengthen safety supervision and protect the safety of residents, according to CCTV.

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Interviews conducted by police and firefighters at the scene proved that two restaurant employees smelled gas about an hour before the explosion, the Yinchuan government said in a statement posted online Thursday.

The two employees found that the gas tank valve was broken, and sent another employee to buy a new one. The explosion occurred while replacing the valve.

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Police arrested nine people and froze their assets, including the restaurant’s manager, employees and shareholders, according to state media China Youth Daily.

State media reported that the restaurant was located on a busy street. The incident came before China begins its three-day national public holiday, from Thursday to Saturday, marking the Dragon Boat Festival.

The country has had a number of safety incidents this year. Coal mine collapse In Inner Mongolia in February It left 53 dead; Then in April, the deadliest fire escape in Beijing in two decades killed 29 people in a hospital.