A liquefied gas container exploded in a restaurant in eastern China at lunchtime on Saturday, causing a fire and killing 17 people, according to a local authority.
The explosion happened just before noon at a small privately run restaurant in Wuhu city’s Jinghu district, the Wuhu city government said on its microblog. Wuhu is in Anhui province, which is just west of Shanghai.
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The restaurant was one of many in an alley about 50 meters (yards) long, said a worker at a rice noodles restaurant across from the one where the blast happened.
“When the fire broke out, people from nearby restaurants rushed to the scene and used fire extinguishers to try and put it out, but there was a lot of smoke and it was quite fierce and already blocked the door,” the worker, who would only give his surname, Wang, said by telephone.