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19 Dead, 172 Injured in Gas Tanker Explosion in China

A man walks past a building and car damaged by a deadly tanker explosion near Wenling, in China's eastern Zhejiang province, on June 13, 2020.

A gas tanker blast in China’s Zhejiang province killed at least 19 people and injured more than 170, state media reported on Sunday.

The tanker truck transporting liquefied petroleum gas exploded at a highway exit in Wenling on Saturday afternoon, according to Xinhua news agency.

Flames and smoke engulfed the area causing damages to a factory, as well as homes and vehicles close to the site of accident.

Firstly, it caused a nearby factory that was in production to collapse,” Zhu Zhixiang, commander of the Fire and Rescue Bureau, said. “The damage caused by this type of collapse is quite significant. It happened layer by layer. Secondly in a residential area around 60-70 meters away, more than 200 rooms were damaged. Also, vehicles in the area were affected. And fourthly, there were massive casualty numbers amongst pedestrians, workers and migrant workers in the area."

China Central Television reported that the cause of the blast was under investigation.

The Chinese government authority responsible for safety production called for a speedy investigation without specifying a deadline.

It also authorized the traffic police to take additional measures and conduct inspections of vehicles carrying dangerous chemicals.