China blast wounds two in third restaurant explosion in under a week

BEIJING (Reuters) – A blast at an eatery in northwest China’s Gansu province injured two on Monday, according to state broadcaster CCTV, the third in a series of restaurant explosions in less than a week that have prompted a nationwide push to stem out fire hazards.

A pressure cooker exploded at a braised meat restaurant on Monday morning, with the powerful blast damaging nearby motor vehicles and buildings, CCTV reported.

On June 21, a gas explosion at a barbecue eatery killed 31 in northwestern Ningxia region in one of the deadliest blasts in recent years, prompting President Xi Jinping to call on all regions to rectify safety risks.

The state council, or cabinet, and local governments quickly issued warnings and called for in-depth investigations into “hidden dangers” to stamp out fire hazards.

On Friday, an explosion due to a gas leak in the central city of Zhengzhou caused a house to collapse, burying four people, all of whom were later rescued.

Accidents due to gas blasts are not uncommon in China, despite years of efforts to improve safety.

(Reporting by Ethan Wang and Ryan Woo; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

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