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Chinese market blast kills 12, injures more than 130

By
Allen Cone
At least 12 people died and 138 people were rescued in a gas explosion that occurred about 6:30 a.m. Saturday in the Zhangwan district in Shiyan, a city in Hubei province. Google Maps screenshot
At least 12 people died and 138 people were rescued in a gas explosion that occurred about 6:30 a.m. Saturday in the Zhangwan district in Shiyan, a city in Hubei province. Google Maps screenshot

June 13 (UPI) -- A gas explosion at a market in central China killed at least 12 people and injured more than 130, including 37 seriously, on Sunday morning.

A total of 138 people were rescued in the blast that occurred about 6:30 a.m. in the Zhangwan district in Shiyan, a city in Hubei province, according state-run China Central Television in an CNN report. More than 173 firefighters were on the scene, according to a South China Morning Post report.

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Cqcb.com, a news portal run by the Chongqing government, said the cause was a gas pipeline.

A gas pipeline ran beneath the building, which included a ground floor with food stalls and the second floor with residential flats.

A local trader told Beijing Youth Daily that the blast, about 330 feet from her shop, woke her up.

"After hearing the blast, I immediately checked on my shop and found many windows were shattered but thankfully not many goods were damaged," the woman said. "Blood was splattered across the rubble, some people were covered in blood after being cut by broken glass."

Another witness told Shangyounews, an online news portal: "Last march inspectors from a gas company came to inquire about my shop and asked if I had smelt any natural gas leakage. I said 'no' and they left after the inspection."

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On Saturday, a chemical leak killed at least eight people and injured another three in Guiyang, the capital of the southern province of Guizhou.

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