Cooking gas explosion kills 31 people at a barbecue restaurant in northwestern China

A cooking gas explosion at a barbecue restaurant in northwestern China killed 31 people and injured seven others during national celebrations.

The incident: The explosion occurred on Wednesday evening in Yinchuan, the capital of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, as people gathered ahead of the Dragon Boat Festival.
* An hour before the explosion, employees noticed the smell of cooking gas and discovered that a gas tank valve was broken; the blast occurred while an employee was replacing the valve.
* The explosion left many people unconscious and victims included elderly people and high school students.

Response: Chinese President Xi Jinping demanded urgent medical care for the injured and a safety overhaul after the explosion.
* He called for efforts to quickly determine the cause of the accident and to hold people accountable under the law.

Background: Industrial accidents are a regular occurrence in China and are often attributed to poor government supervision, corruption, cost-cutting measures by employers, and little safety training for employees.
* The central government has pledged stronger safety measures since a chemical warehouse explosion in 2015 killed 173 people.

View original article on NPR

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