At least 2 dead, 45 injured in restaurant explosion near China's famed West Lake

Workers arrive at shops which burnt after an explosion in a restaurant in Hangzhou, China, on July 21, 2017.
Workers arrive at shops which burnt after an explosion in a restaurant in Hangzhou, China, on July 21, 2017. PHOTO: EPA

BEIJING (REUTERS) - An explosion on Friday (July 21) morning at a restaurant on a busy street in China’s eastern city of Hangzhou killed two people and injured 45, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The explosion happened near the tourist hotspot of West Lake, a well-known scenic area.

The huge blast damaged passing buses and cars and wounded pedestrians in the vicinity, Xinhua said, adding that the two people killed were commuters on the road.

A fire subsequently engulfed the restaurant, sending plumes of smoke into the air, images on social media showed.

Get The Straits Times
newsletters in your inbox

The blaze has since been put out, a regional government information office said on its official microblog.

The cause of the explosion is still being investigated, although Xinhua said it could have been bottled liquefied petroleum gas in the restaurant.

Explosions and other mishaps are common in China, often because of patchy safety enforcement. The central government has pledged to improve checks to avert such accidents.