1 dead, 22 injured after powerful explosion at Chinese restaurant

BEIJING: 1 person was killed and 22 others were injured in a large suspected gas explosion in northern China’s Hebei province on Wednesday, state media reported, as social media videos showed severe damage to buildings. State broadcaster CCTV said the explosion occurred just before 8 a.m. (0000 GMT) in a residential area in the city of Sanhe, less than 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the capital Beijing.

The broadcaster said one person was killed and 22 were injured, with suspicions that the explosion was caused by a gas leak at a fried chicken shop. “The explosion occurred at a ground floor restaurant in an old residential area,” CCTV said. He said that the injured have been taken to the hospital. “The current status of casualties is unknown,” CCTV said.

An AFP reporter at the scene saw police officers waving at oncoming traffic away from the entrance to the area where the explosion occurred. Footage circulated online by state media showed a large explosion, sending a plume of smoke and fire across a busy street during the morning rush hour.

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