Cooking gas explosion in China kills one, reignites security concerns

BEIJING (Reuters) – An explosion at a restaurant in east China’s Jiangsu province left one dead and another injured on Monday, local officials said, reigniting public concerns about the safety of gas tanks in cooking after a series of similar accidents last month.

A tank at a barbecue restaurant exploded at 6:02 a.m. (2202 GMT) on Monday, authorities in Yancheng city in Jianhu county said in a statement.

The restaurant owner has been arrested by police, they said, and an investigation is ongoing.

In June, a gas explosion at a barbecue restaurant killed 31 people in the northwest region of Ningxia, one of the deadliest explosions in recent years, prompting President Xi Jinping to order authorities to stop in the face of security risks across the country.

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

After Monday’s incident, concerns and criticism resurfaced on popular Chinese microblogging site Weibo.

“Haven’t we learned our lesson? asked a user.

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

“Those who run barbecue restaurants should all do self-checks,” another user said.

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

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