Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered safety campaigns across China to rectify any risks and “hidden dangers” after a recent barbecue restaurant gas explosion that left at least 31 people dead and seven injured.
Key details: The incident reportedly occurred in Yinchuan, a city in China’s Ningxia region, at around 8:40 p.m. on Wednesday — just a day before China celebrated its three-day Dragon Boat Festival. The fire resulting from the explosion lasted until 4 a.m. on Thursday, according to reports.
Of the seven injured from the blast, one was reported to be in critical condition, while the remaining victims were treated for minor injuries, burns and cuts from glass shards.
What happened: Witnesses on the scene told authorities that two staffers smelled a gas leak inside the restaurant caused by a broken petroleum gas tank valve, the Yinchuan government said in a statement on Thursday. The explosion occurred while another staffer was attempting to replace the valve.
Addressing the nation: Xi recently addressed the incident, demanding officials give victims urgent medical care, determine the cause of the explosion and roll out safety campaigns across China to address “all types of risks and hidden dangers” and promote workplace safety.
The aftermath: Nine people, including the restaurant’s manager, employees and shareholders, have reportedly been detained following the incident and have had their assets frozen.
Some Chinese social media users criticized the safety of barbecue restaurants, with one Weibo user commenting, “All barbecue shops in the country should be shut down and rectified.” Another user wrote, “Profits should not be earned with the blood of the people.”