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Explosion and fire in China leaves deaths and wounded

Beijing, Mar 13 (Prensa Latina) An explosion in a restaurant today left at least two dead and 26 injured in a small residential area of Hebei province, neighboring this capital.

According to local authorities, 156 firefighters and other rescue forces responded to the scene, extinguishing the fire, evacuating residents within a radius of 500 meters and establishing a security cordon.

Based on a preliminary investigations, a gas leak caused the explosion in the morning local time and the shock wave reached other nearby buildings, as well as vehicles and roads.

Accidents of this type, with deaths and injuries, are frequent in China.

Less than a month ago, a fire killed 15 residents and injured 44 others in a residential building in the southern province of Jiangsu, after a battery of a motor-electric power plant that was charging in a common area of the building exploded.

This accident prompted the authorities to check all major buildings in the city, including 15,000 residential blocks and 238 large markets, for similar disaster risks.

jrr/jav/oda/idm

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