Cooking Gas Explosion Kills 31 at China Restaurant

7 others injured in Yinchuan incident
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 22, 2023 12:00 AM CDT
Cooking Gas Explosion Kills 31 in China
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / Makhbubakhon Ismatova)

A massive cooking gas explosion at a barbecue restaurant in northwestern China killed 31 people and injured seven, Chinese authorities said Thursday. The blast tore through the establishment at around 8:40pm Wednesday on a busy street in Yinchuan, the capital of the traditionally Muslim Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, as people were gathering on the eve of the Dragon Boat Festival holiday, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The festival is a national holiday devoted to eating rice dumplings and racing boats manned by teams of paddlers. Chinese President Xi Jinping demanded all-out treatment of the injured and a safety overhaul after the explosion, the AP reports.

Online news site The Paper cited a woman identified only by her surname Chen saying she had been about 50 meters (164 feet) from the restaurant when she heard the explosion. She described seeing two waiters emerge from the restaurant afterward, one of whom collapsed immediately, while thick smoke billowed from the restaurant and a strong smell of cooking gas permeated the area. The Central Government's Ministry of Emergency Management said on its social media account that search and rescue work at the restaurant was completed early Thursday morning and investigators were sent to determine the cause of the blast.

(More China stories.)

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