At least 31 people were killed and seven injured in the Chinese city of Yingchuan, in the northwestern region of Ningxia Hui, after a gas explosion at a barbecue restaurant on Wednesday evening, June 21, state media reported.

Writes about it CNN.

The explosion occurred due to a liquid gas leak from a tank inside the restaurant around 20:40 local time, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

As a result, seven wounded, one person is in critical condition. The other six are being treated in hospital with minor injuries, burns and cuts from glass.

According to state media, local firefighters dispatched 20 cars and more than 100 people to the scene, with a total duration of search and rescue operations until 4 am on Thursday, June 22.

Photos released by state media showed a damaged building with black exterior walls, debris on the ground and smoke in the air. The pictures show firefighters climbing the stairs to the second floor on a ladder and carrying people out on stretchers.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping said the blast was "heartbreaking" and said it was an "important lesson." He ordered authorities at the scene to "make every effort" to treat the injured, strengthen safety surveillance and ensure the safety of residents, according to CCTV.

According to data from the Yingchuan government, obtained during interviews by police and firefighters at the scene, it was established that two restaurant employees smelled gas an hour before the explosion, according to a statement published on June 22 on the Internet.

The two workers noticed that the gas tank valve had broken down and sent another employee to replace him. The explosion occurred during valve replacement.

According to state media China Youth Daily, police detained nine people and froze their assets, including the restaurant manager, employees and shareholders.

According to state media reports, the restaurant is located on a lively street. The incident occurred just before the start of a three-day national celebration in China, which lasts from Thursday, June 22, to Saturday, June 24, and coincides with the celebration of the Dragon Boat Festival.

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