2 dead, dozens injured in suspected gas explosion outside Beijing

  • An explosion caused by a suspected gas leak occurred at a fried chicken shop in Sanhe, China.
  • The blast resulted in the death of at least two people and injured 26 others.
  • More than 150 firefighters were involved in extinguishing the fire.

An explosion caused by a suspected gas leak ripped through a building in northern China on Wednesday, killing at least two people and injuring 26 others, authorities said.

The blast occurred early in the morning at a fried chicken shop in the city of Sanhe, authorities said in a short statement. The city is around 39 miles east of Beijing.

Police cordoned off streets over half a mile around the explosion, Associated Press reporters saw, and were directing people away.

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Fire engines were dispatched to the scene and a truck could be seen hauling away a burnt-out car with its windows gone. Most of the original building is gone, with only part of its frame remaining above piles of rubble.

China firefighters

Firefighters work the scene of an explosion on March 13, 2024, in Sanhe city in northern China’s Hebei province. An explosion caused by a suspected gas leak ripped through a building in northern China on Wednesday, killing at least two people and injuring 26 others, authorities said. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

State broadcaster CCTV said 14 people were hospitalized, including two in serious condition.

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Relatives of a person who had died told local news outlet Hongxing News that she was the owner of a guesthouse inside the building and that her husband was still missing. The couple had just sent their 9-year-old child to school before the explosion happened.

Over 150 firefighters worked to bring the blaze under control, according to CCTV. Videos online showed smoke billowing out of a mid-level commercial building at an intersection.