China: Natural Gas Explosion Kills at Least 25, Seriously Wounds 37

Workers search for victims in a building damaged by a gas line explosion which left at least 12 people dead and nearly 140 others injured in Shiyan, in central China's Hubei province on June 13, 2021. - China OUT (Photo by - / CNS / AFP) / China OUT (Photo …
-/CNS/AFP via Getty Images

The death toll from a gas explosion near a residential community in central China’s Shiyan city on Sunday rose to 25 on Monday as Chinese government authorities continued efforts to rescue and treat survivors of the blast and determine its cause.

“The death toll from the blast in the city of Shiyan, in Hubei province, had stood at 12 on Sunday evening but another 13 victims without vital signs were found as of 12:30 [pm] local time … on Monday,” the state-run China Central Television (CCTV) network reported on June 14, citing an official from Hubei’s emergency management department.

The incident took place in Shiyan, located in northwestern Hubei province, on the morning of June 13.

“The 913 households close to the explosion site — a wet market at Yanhu community – have been evacuated, according to a press release provided by the Shiyan government on Sunday afternoon,” China’s state-run Global Times reported.

“The market is a two-story building … with 19 shops on the first floor and a community activity room on the second floor … There are another 46 [market] stalls across the road from the building,” according to the press release.

China’s Ministry of Emergency Management sent a team to Shiyan on June 13 to investigate the natural gas explosion, which injured 138 people according to the latest casualty count Monday. At least 37 people were “seriously” wounded by the explosion, according to CCTV’s June 14 report.

“The cause of the blast is still under investigation,” a spokesperson for the Shiyan government surnamed Gao told the Global Times on June 13.

“Industrial accidents are not uncommon in China despite attempts to tighten safety after a series of explosions in the northern port city of Tianjin killed 173 people in 2015,” Reuters noted Monday.

“In 2013, an oil pipeline blast in Qingdao, in the eastern province of Shandong, killed more than 60 people, while an explosion on a gas pipe in Southwest China’s Guizhou left eight people dead in 2017,” the news agency recalled.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Sunday “ordered all-out efforts” to rescue victims of Shiyan’s explosion, according to China’s official state-run press agency Xinhua.

“Those responsible must be held to account,” Xi said in a press statement issued June 13.

“As several work safety accidents and incidents related to campus safety have occurred recently in a number of places, Xi instructed local authorities and relevant departments to learn the lesson, shoulder all responsibilities earnestly, develop a keen political sense and tighten safety hazard checks thoroughly,” Xinhua reported.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.