At least 12 people have been killed and 39 others seriously injured in a gas pipeline explosion in a residential area of the Chinese city, Xi’an.
According to emergency workers, 150 people affected by the blast have been taken to hospital for treatment.
A report in the Associated Press (AP) quoted city officials as saying rescue operations were still underway, but the cause of the blast could not be determined.
According to local media reports, shopkeepers and customers of the vegetable market were affected by the blast which took place at 6 am on Sunday.
It should be noted that in 2013, a similar explosion in the northeastern region of Qingdao killed 55 people. The blast was caused by an underground gas pipeline exploding.
A day before the blast in Xi’an on Sunday, a toxic gas leak from a factory in the northwestern Chinese city of Guoyang killed eight people and injured three.
Complaints of an increase in such incidents are common in China due to security measures, substandard repairs and allegations of corruption.
According to reports, those responsible for these incidents are severely punished, but in view of the growing demand for goods and lucrative business, precautionary measures are ignored.
The worst incident in China’s recent history occurred in 2015 when an explosion at a chemical warehouse in Tianjin killed 173 people, most of them firefighters and police.
The reasons for the incident included illegal construction of the building and unsafe storage of hazardous materials in the warehouse.
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