China cooking gas explosion kills one at barbeque restaurant

BEIJING (Reuters) -A gas tank explosion at a restaurant in eastern China's Jiangsu province killed one and wounded another on Monday, officials said, triggering concern over gas safety after a series of similar accidents last month.

The gas tank exploded at a barbecue restaurant in the city of Yancheng.

A clip posted online showed several destroyed storefronts in a two-storey commercial complex, as a person was wheeled away from the scene by rescuers. Debris and damaged trees were scattered across the street.

The owner of the restaurant had been detained by police, authorities said, and an investigation was under way.

In June, a gas explosion at a barbecue restaurant killed 31 in northwestern Ningxia region, one of the deadliest blasts in recent years, prompting President Xi Jinping to order officials to address safety risks across the country.

Two other restaurant explosions followed in less than a week, including one in Gansu province that injured two.

After Monday's blast, concerns and criticism resurfaced on China's popular microblog site Weibo.

"Have we not learned our lesson?" questioned one user.

Accidents due to gas and chemical explosions are not uncommon in China despite years of efforts to improve safety.

"Those who run barbecue restaurants should all conduct self-checks," said another user.

(Reporting by Ethan Wang and Ryan Woo; Editing by Tom Hogue and Nick Macfie)

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