A cooking gas explosion at a barbecue restaurant claimed the lives of 31 people and injured seven other people.
In the midst of preparations for the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival, the lively street in China’s northwestern region was rocked by the blast at around 8:40 pm on Wednesday, June 21. Several patrons were knocked unconscious by the force of the explosion, necessitating immediate evacuation and rescue efforts from first responders. The victims were a diverse group, ranging from high school students to the elderly.
Media outlet Xinhua disclosed that a broken gas tank valve was discovered by the restaurant staff about an hour before the deadly explosion. An unfortunate attempt to replace the faulty valve led to the disastrous event.
Chinese President Xi Jinping reacted swiftly to the tragedy, advocating for prompt medical assistance to those injured. Stressing the gravity of the situation, he ordered an inquiry to identify the cause of the accident and the accountability of the responsible parties. President Xi implored regions and departments across the country to scrutinize potential risks and enhance safety protocols.
The explosion took place at the Fuyang Barbecue branch in Yinchuan, a well-regarded establishment known for its grilled skewers and stir-fried specialties. The two-story restaurant offered ground floor seating for 20 and an upstairs equipped with private dining rooms and karaoke amenities.
Injured patrons were transported to the General Hospital of Ningxia Medical University for treatment. As of Thursday morning, June 22, the rescue operation was concluded and investigators turned their attention to the cause of the explosion, as reported by the Ministry of Emergency Management on social media.