(Bloomberg) — A gas explosion at a restaurant in northwestern China killed 31 people on the eve of a long holiday weekend, causing anger in the Asian nation and President Xi Jinping to call for better safety supervision.

Most Read from Bloomberg

The tragedy occurred at a barbecue establishment in Yinchuan, capital of the Ningxia region, on Wednesday evening after liquefied petroleum gas leaked, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Seven others were injured, including one person in critical condition.

Authorities have detained nine people linked to the disaster, including the restaurant’s manager, staff and owners, state broadcaster China Central Television reported, citing Communist Party officials in Ningxia.

China has experienced similar disasters in the past. After some 16 people were killed in a dining hall in the southwestern city of Chongqing last year, the government announced plans to renovate thousands of kilometers of aging gas pipelines.

That incident and others spurred calls to action from Xi. After Wednesday’s accident in Yinchuan, population of about 2.9 million, Xi demanded authorities make every effort to treat the wounded and strengthen safety supervision, CCTV reported.

The latest blast has led to public expressions of frustration in China, where people are celebrating Dragon Boat Festival. Videos and pictures of rescuers at the scene of the smoldering restaurant were widely shared on social media.

Internet users also called for investigations and increased safety inspections to stop the blasts, which “have occurred again and again,” as one person wrote.

(Updates with social media reaction, detentions.)

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *