Picture used for illustrative purposes only.
At least 12 people were killed and 37 seriously injured on Sunday after a gas line explosion tore through a residential neighbourhood in central China, state media CCTV reported Sunday.
Responders to the early Sunday blast in the Hubei province city of Shiyan said a total of 144 people had been evacuated following the deadly accident in the city of Shiyan in Hubei province by 11am (0300 GMT) it said.
The statement said rescue efforts were continuing but gave no word on the cause of the explosion.
The blast appeared similar to one that occurred in the northeastern port of Qingdao in 2013, in which 55 people were killed when underground pipelines ripped open following a leak.
Hospitals in Shiyan are asking residents to donate blood, as the injured are still under emergency treatment, CCTV said.
The Shiyan explosion came a day after eight people died and three others were injured when toxic methyl formate leaked from a vehicle at a chemical handling facility in the southwestern city of Guiyang.
Frequent deadly accidents are usually traced to weak adherence to safety standards, poor maintenance and corruption among enforcement bodies. Those responsible are often handed harsh punishments, but high demand and the desire for profits often trump such concerns.
Among the worst accidents was a massive 2015 explosion at a chemical warehouse in the port city of Tianjin that killed 173 people, most of them firefighters and police officers. The blast was blamed on illegal construction and unsafe storage of volatile materials.
The tanker carrying liquefied petroleum gas exploded at a highway exit in Taizhou in Zhejiang province on Saturday afternoon, an earlier report said. The blast sent flames and a cloud of smoke high into the sky, state-media pictures showed.
The blaze was put out at 2:30am and an investigation into the cause is underway. All the injured were treated at the hospital and believed to be in stable condition.
Dramatic footage shared by state-run “People's Daily” on social media showed the windows ripped out of several buildings in a street coated in dust and debris in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province in northern China.
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