Death toll in central China gas explosion rises to 25, probe underway

Hubei: A probe has been started to unearth the cause of a gas explosion at a market in China’s Hubei Province, the death toll of which has reached 25, according to the local media.

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The explosion which occurred on Sunday rocked a trade market building in a residential community in Zhangwan District of Shiyan. More than 100 people were injured, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the local authorities, a total of 150 people were pulled from the debris, and the injured are still receiving treatment at local hospitals.

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The explosion destroyed a wet market there and greatly affected nearby residents. “Hearing the loud bang, I immediately scrabbled beneath the table, thinking it was an earthquake,” a resident surnamed Liu, told the Global Times via phone.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping had called for a thorough investigation into the cause of the blast.

Previously, Shi Zheng, head of the provincial emergency management department had said, a team has been set up to investigate the blast, and Hubei will launch a province-wide blanket inspection to root out potential work safety hazards.

Back in 2015, multiple explosions in northeastern China’s Tianjin had killed 173 people. Prior to that, a pipeline blast in Qingdao in 2013 left more than 60 dead, New York Post reported.

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