China: At least 14 die in restaurant blast

Nov. 24, 2012 at 1:06 PM

JINZHONG, China, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- At least 14 people were killed and almost 50 injured in what appears to have been a gas explosion at a restaurant in northern China, officials said Saturday.

The blast -- which shattered windows in other shops and twisted iron gates over storefronts -- gutted the Xiyangyang, or Happy Sheep Hot Pot Restaurant, in Jinzhong City, Shanxi province, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.

The restaurant was filled with customers when the explosion occurred at about 8 p.m. Friday.

Yuan Heping, who was eating with his wife and some friends, suffered minor burns. He said there was no hint of any problems.

"Suddenly, there was a big bang and the hot wave ensued," he told Xinhua. "The whole room was engulfed in black smoke and I had to use my sweater to cover my mouth before I managed to jump from the second-floor window."

Local officials said six people died in the explosion and eight were pronounced dead after being transported to hospitals. Some of the injured suffered serious burns.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
5 Reasons why Denver Broncos won't be repeat champions
Islamic State crucifies teen in Syria
Early human ancestor didn't have a nutcracker jaw
Elton John rides with James Corden for Carpool Karaoke
Cruz: Requiring women to enroll in military combat draft is 'nuts'