At least 17 people have been killed after a large explosion hit a restaurant in eastern China, state media say.
The blast, which happened at 11:57 a.m. local time, (0357 GMT) local time on Saturday, also caused a fire at the restaurant in the city of Wuhu, in the eastern Anhui province, state news agency Xinhua reported.
“When the fire broke out, people from nearby restaurants rushed to the scene and used fire extinguishers to try and put it out, but there was a lot of smoke and it was quite fierce and already blocked the door,” said a worker nearby.
Police said after an initial investigation that a liquid gas cylinder was identified as the source of the explosion, but the probe is still ongoing and rescue efforts were also underway.
Recently, there has been a string of similar explosion across China. Earlier this month, 17 separate explosions hit the southern city of Liucheng, killing and maiming dozens of people. Police ruled out terrorism as being the motive behind the attacks.
In August, a series of massive explosions at a warehouse storing chemicals killed over 150 people and wounded dozens more in the major port city of Tianjin located in the country’s northeast.