Explosion at a barbecue in northwest China kills 31

BEIJING (Reuters) – A gas explosion at a barbecue restaurant on Wednesday night in northwest China’s Ningxia region killed 31, according to the official Xinhua news agency, prompting President Xi Jinping to order stricter security checks.

The explosion in Yinchuan, capital of Ningxia region, was caused by a leaking liquefied petroleum gas tank at the restaurant, Xinhua reported on Thursday.

Seven people were still being treated for burns and cuts from broken glass, Xinhua said.

Xi told authorities to do everything possible to treat the injured, and said safety oversight in key industries and sectors should be stepped up, Chinese state TV reported.

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

In 2015, a series of explosions in the northern port city of Tianjin killed 173 people.

(Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Tom Hogue)

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