Saturday, May 18, 2024

China: Two dead and more than 20 injured in gas explosion at fried chicken shop

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At least two people have died and 26 injured after a suspected gas explosion at a fried chicken shop in northern China, state media and local officials have said.

Buildings and cars were destroyed by the blast in the city of Sanhe in central Hebei province, around 50 miles (80km) east Beijing, at about 8am (local time) on Wednesday.

The force of the explosion sent a large orange fireball, followed by billows of grey smoke into the air and almost as far as buildings on the opposite side of a dual carriageway in front of the eatery, video posted on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, showed.

Image:
Pic: China Daily/Reuters

Firefighters work to put out a fire following an explosion at a restaurant in Sanhe.
Pic: China Daily Reuters
Image:
Firefighters work to put out a fire following an explosion at a restaurant in Sanhe.
Pic: China Daily Reuters

Other video shot in the aftermath showed the destroyed frontage of buildings, mangled cars, with glass shards and other debris, including pieces of concrete and metal, in the streets, and some objects still on fire.

Workers clean up debris on the ground near the site of a restaurant explosion in Sanhe.
Pic: Cina Daily/Reuters
Image:
Workers clean up debris on the ground near the site of a restaurant explosion in Sanhe.
Pic: Cina Daily/Reuters

The injured were taken to hospital, state broadcaster CCTV News said, as more than 150 emergency personnel, including rescue workers, firefighters, health and other officials, and 36 vehicles rushed to the scene.

Firefighters work the scene of an explosion in Sanhe city in northern China...s Hebei province on Wednesday, March 13, 2024. Rescuers were responding to a suspected gas leak explosion Wednesday in a building in northern China, authorities said. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Image:
Firefighters work the scene of an explosion in Sanhe city in northern China. Pic: AP

A gas leak in a fried chicken shop caused the explosion in the town of Yanjiao, city emergency officials said in a statement.

Firefighters brought the blaze under control, they said.

Firefighters work the scene of an explosion in Sanhe city in northern China...s Hebei province on Wednesday, March 13, 2024. Rescuers were responding to a suspected gas leak explosion Wednesday in a building in northern China, authorities said. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Image:
Rescuers were responding to a suspected gas leak explosion. Pic: AP

Last year, Chinese officials issued detailed guidelines on the use of gas appliances and cookers to try to prevent such incidents.

Firefighters work the scene of an explosion in Sanhe city in northern China...s Hebei province on Wednesday, March 13, 2024. Rescuers were responding to a suspected gas leak explosion Wednesday in a building in northern China, authorities said. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Image:
Pic: AP

Social media posters on Weibo said the explosion occurred near a cultural centre in the town.

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Firefighters work the scene of an explosion in Sanhe city in northern China...s Hebei province on Wednesday, March 13, 2024. Rescuers were responding to a suspected gas leak explosion Wednesday in a building in northern China, authorities said. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Image:
Pic: AP

It happened where a nearby metro line was being built, the independent Chinese weekly, the Economic Observer, said on its social media account.

An investigation has been opened, according to social media posts.

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