At least 20 people were trapped after an explosion caused a building to collapse in China
At least 20 people were trapped after an explosion on Friday caused a building containing a government canteen in the Chinese city of Chongqing, according to state media.
The explosion at 12:10 (04:10 GMT) was caused by a “suspected gas leak” in a canteen and caused a neighborhood committee building to collapse, trapping people inside, the People’s Daily reported.
CCTV reported that authorities had sent about 260 rescuers and 50 vehicles to the scene, adding that the cause of the explosion was under investigation.
A video posted on China’s official Weibo page by the fire service showed workers wearing orange shirts and hard hats climbing over large rubble.
The ministry said nine people were rescued from the scene.
The official Xinhua news agency said some of the injured had been taken to hospital, but did not give further details.
Footage released by CCTV on social media showed smoke and dust rising from the collapsed building in Wulong district, a southwestern suburb of the megacity.
One witness told the state-run Phoenix TV channel that the explosion was “very scary… our windows were all blown to pieces”.
Local government officials have set up an “on-site emergency response headquarters” to direct rescue work and medical treatment, People’s Daily reported.
Gas leaks and explosions are not uncommon in China, due to weak safety standards and the corruption of officials tasked with enforcing them.
In June, 25 people were killed in a gas explosion that tore through a residential area and hit a crowded two-story building packed with shoppers.
Eight suspects, including the general manager of the company that owns the gas pipeline, were arrested after authorities deemed “the company’s safety management system ineffective”.
The same month, 18 people were killed and more injured when a fire broke out at a martial arts school, with state media reporting that all the victims were boarding students.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from the feed provided.)