Restaurant blast in Hebei, China, kills 2

“I was at home when I heard a loud blast, I initially thought it might be a gunshot,” said Zhao Li, who lives near the blast site.

“The loud explosion was accompanied by a crash of glass and clouds of smoke,” said Zhao, adding that police officers had sealed off the street to the site.

The fire had been brought under control, fire officials said in an earlier statement, adding that 36 vehicles and 154 people had been dispatched to the site and were carrying out rescue work.

China’s latest deadly gas explosion at an eatery comes after the government issued detailed guidelines last year on the use of gas appliances and cookers to avert safety risks.

A huge suspected gas explosion at a restaurant killed one person and injured 22 more in northern China's Hebei province during rush hour on March 13, state media reported, causing severe damage to buildings.
People gather at the scene of the explosion. Greg Baker / AFP – Getty Images

Social media posters on Weibo said the explosion occurred near a cultural center in the town. Construction of a metro line was taking place nearby, Chinese weekly The Economic Observer posted on its social media account.

City emergency authorities sent an investigation team, according to social media posts.

Regional supplier Taida Gas suspended service in several surrounding areas, as a precaution to prevent secondary injuries, it said in a statement.

“Our company … will resume supply after ensuring safety,” it added in the statement, although it said it did not service the area where the shop is located.