2 killed, dozens hurt in gas blast
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.
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.
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.