External Affairs

Blast in China Kills Two, Injures 55; Cause Unknown

Firefighters work at the site of an explosion at a restaurant in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, July 21, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Stringer

Beijing: An explosion at a shop by a busy street in the Chinese city of Hangzhou on Friday killed two people and injured 55, authorities in the area said.

Fire engulfed the shop sending plumes of smoke into the air, video footage circulated on social media showed.

The fire has since been put out, Hangzhou‘s West Lake District Information Office said on its official microblog.

The injured were taken to the hospital, it said, adding that 12 were seriously hurt.

Authorities are investigating the cause.

Explosions and other mishaps are common in China, often because of patchy enforcement of safety rules. The central government has pledged to improve checks to avert such accidents.