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China: Around The Nation

4 killed, dozens hurt as blast at Chinese pancake shop rips through street market

Explosion blamed on restaurant owner’s ‘inappropriate use’ of gas cylinder, videos show moment of blast, victims arriving at hospital

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 June, 2017, 5:10pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 June, 2017, 10:43am

At least four people were killed and dozens more were injured in northeast China on Tuesday night when a gas cylinder exploded at a restaurant on a busy street, state media reported.

The incident happened about 8.20pm at the Zhangsanfeng Pancake shop in the Linghe district of Jinzhou, as crowds of people were dining or shopping at the local street market, China Global Television Network, an English-language channel owned by state broadcaster China Central Television, reported.

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The actual moment of the blast was caught on surveillance cameras and released via the network’s Twitter account.

In the footage, a huge cloud of smoke is seen shooting from the restaurant, sending tables and chairs flying, and scattering diners and passers-by.

Though the exact cause of the explosion has yet to be determined, state-owned China News Agency claimed it was due to the owner’s “inappropriate” operation of the gas cylinder.

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It also cited the district government as saying that 11 people had been taken to hospital, though none had suffered life-threatening injuries. The report made no mention of any fatalities.

In a separate video uploaded to Weibo by China news portal Sina.com, bloodied victims of the blast are seen arriving at a local hospital, though the film does not provide details of the number of people hurt or the extent of their injuries.

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A local woman, who asked not to be named, told the South China Morning Post that she was on her way to the area when the explosion happened.

“I received a message from my friend saying there had been a blast at a new eatery as I was on my way to the night market,” she said.

“It sounded dangerous, so I headed back home.”

She said she heard later that the area had been cordoned off by the police.