China BBQ restaurant explosion kills 31, president orders safety campaign

Beijing – China’s president on Thursday ordered a national security campaign after a massive cooking gas explosion at a barbecue restaurant in the northwest on the eve of the long holiday killed 31 people and injured seven.

Around 8:40 pm Wednesday, in downtown Yinchuan, the capital of the traditionally Muslim Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, an explosion pierced a restaurant where people had gathered prior to the explosion. Dragon Boat Festivalsaid the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

The online news site The Paper, citing members of the search and rescue team, said the blast left many people unconscious and had to be carried out of the store. Among the victims were senior citizens and high school students.

An hour before the explosion, an employee smelled cooking gas and noticed a broken gas tank valve, according to the Xinhua News Agency. The explosion occurred while an employee was replacing a valve.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called for urgent treatment of the wounded and wounded. Safety review After the explosion, the Xinhua News Agency reported: He called for efforts to quickly identify the cause of the accident and hold people accountable according to the law.

Xi also said all regions and relevant departments should launch campaigns to address “all kinds of risks and hidden hazards” and promote workplace safety.

Authorities detained nine people, including restaurant owners, shareholders and employees. Their assets were also frozen, according to Xinhua.

The blast happened at Fuyang Barbecue, a restaurant chain popular for skewers and stir-fries in Yinchuan, the newspaper said. The restaurant has two floors, the first floor can accommodate his 20 guests, and the second floor has a private room where you can also enjoy karaoke.

A video posted on the social media platform Douyin showed rescue workers on ladders trying to reach victims on the second floor. People with what appeared to be minor injuries waited for help on the side of the road. Other videos showed at least six fire engines arriving at the scene and some bystanders crying.

Staff at the Ningxia Medical University General Hospital emergency clinic confirmed that some victims were being treated there, but did not provide further information.

The newspaper cited the testimony of a woman named Chen, identified only by her last name, who said she was about 50 meters (160 feet) from the restaurant when she heard the explosion. She said she saw two waiters come out of the restaurant and one of them quickly collapsed as thick smoke and a strong smell of cooking gas permeated the area.

The central government’s Ministry of Emergency Management said on social media that a search and rescue operation at the restaurant was completed early Thursday morning and investigators were working to determine the cause of the explosion.

Dragon Boat Festival is a holiday dedicated to eating dumplings and racing boats propelled by teams of rowers. The majority of Yinchuan’s population is Han Chinese, but one-third are Hui, or Chinese Muslims.

Such accidents occur regularly in China and are usually attributed to poor government oversight, corruption, cost-cutting measures by employers and lack of safety training for employees.

At least nine people died in an explosion at a petrochemical plant in China, and three died in a helicopter crash during the country’s May Day holiday.

In February, 53 miners died. Collapse of a large open pit coal mine Four people were detained in a fire at an industrial trading company in central China in November that killed 38 people in northern Inner Mongolia.

The central government has pledged to step up safety measures after a 2015 explosion at a chemical warehouse in the northern port city of Tianjin killed 173 people, mostly firefighters and police. The case accused a number of local officials of taking bribes to ignore safety violations.


Bangkok-based AP video producer Penny Wang contributed to this report.

Copyright 2023 Associated Press. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission. China BBQ restaurant explosion kills 31, president orders safety campaign

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