2 killed, dozens hurt in gas blast

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By SHI XIAOFENG in Hangzhou shixf @chi­nadaily.com.cn

Two peo­ple have been con­firmed dead and 45 were in­jured in a gas blast in Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, on Fri­day.

The blast, caused by can­is­ters of liq­ue­fied gas, hap­pened at around 8:30 am in­volv­ing three restau­rants near West Lake, a well-known scenic area, ac­cord­ing to a news con­fer­ence held by the West Lake district govern­ment.

Bil­low­ing flames and strong heat shat­tered the glass of pass­ing ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing a bus, cars and taxis, and some pass­ing cy­clists were also knocked over.

A pas­sen­ger on the bus and a passer-by were killed in the ex­plo­sion, the district govern­ment said.

The in­jured were sent to six hos­pi­tals for treat­ment. Among the in­jured, seven peo­ple sus­tained se­vere in­juries, and nine slightly in­jured have left hos­pi­tal.

Briefly

The rea­son for the blast is still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but it is sus­pected that the blast is re­lated to a gas leak, the district govern­ment said.

Af­ter the blast, nearby res­i­dents and passers-by gath­ered around the site to help the in­jured.

Zhang Quan, who lives in a rented house 200 me­ters away, rushed to the site af­ter hear­ing a ter­ri­fy­ing blast.

“I saw some peo­ple sit­ting and ly­ing on the road. Many peo­ple of­fered help, driv­ing the slightly in­jured to the hos­pi­tal in their own cars and try­ing to move the wounded away from the blast area,” said Zhang, who ac­com­pa­nied four in­jured to a nearby hos­pi­tal.

Huang Yafeng, a taxi driver, was in­jured by fly­ing glass, but de­spite that he vol­un­teered to help.

He found a se­ri­ously wounded woman and moved her to a safe place with a plank bed. He then went back to the site and found a man in the de­bris af­ter hear­ing his cry for help.

“I didn’t think too much, I just did what I could do,” he said.

The provin­cial blood cen­ter has called on res­i­dents to do­nate blood, es­pe­cially blood types A and O. Six blood do­na­tion points in the city cen­ter were opened, and peo­ple lined up on the street to do­nate.

The city also or­dered ex­ten­sive checks to rule out po­ten­tial haz­ards that un­der­mine pub­lic safety.

Many peo­ple of­fered help, driv­ing the slightly in­jured to the hos­pi­tal in their own cars.” Zhang Quan, a res­i­dent in Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince

Xin­hua con­trib­uted to this story.

CHEN ZHONGQIU / FOR CHINA DAILY

Fire­fight­ers work to con­trol a blaze caused by a gas blast in Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, on Fri­day. At least two were con­firmed dead af­ter the blast in­volv­ing three restau­rants hap­pened at around 8:30 am.

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