Authorities said that a large explosion at a BBQ restaurant in northwest China caused by cooking gas killed 31 people and injured seven others during national festivities on the eve of a long holiday weekend.
Around 8:40 p.m., the explosion shook the eatery.
According to the official Xinhua News Agency, the incident occurred on a major thoroughfare in Yinchuan, the capital of the historically Muslim Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, on Wednesday as people gathered before the Dragon Boat Festival.
According to a member of the search and rescue team who was mentioned by the online news outlet The Paper, several individuals were knocked unconscious by the explosion and needed to be taken out of the store.
According to the report, victims included seniors and youngsters in high school.
According to Xinhua, workers became aware of the scent of cooking gas one hour before the explosion and found a damaged gas tank valve.
An employee was changing the valve when the explosion happened. According to Xinhua, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged immediate medical attention for the injured and a safety review following the incident.
He encouraged action to swiftly identify the accident’s cause and hold those responsible accountable in accordance with the law.
After the incident, Chinese President Xi Jinping sought emergency medical attention for the injured people as well as a safety review, according to Xinhua.
He pushed for actions to be taken right away to identify the accident’s cause and punish those legally liable.
Additionally, Xi emphasized the need for all areas and associated departments to address “all types of risks and hidden dangers” and roll out campaigns to advance workplace safety.
Authorities have taken custody of nine people, including the restaurant’s owner, stockholders, and staff members. Xinhua reports that their assets have also been frozen.
The Fuyang Barbecue franchise restaurant in Yinchuan, known for its grilled skewers and stir-fried food, is where the explosion took place, according to The Paper.
The two-story restaurant had 20 seats on the main floor and private dining rooms where patrons could also participate in karaoke on the second floor.