7 people have been killed and 31 injured, after an explosion took place this morning in the Shaanxi provincial capital of Xi’an. Reports have it that the explosion occurred due to a gas leakage from a tank inside a snack bar, located inside Jiatian International Mansion (嘉天国际大厦) in Xi’an’s hi-tech industrial district.
Though it’s been reported that journalists have been denied access to affected areas, photographs of the scene and surrounding areas make the assertion a bit muddled. The area has also reportedly been sealed off to prevent further casualties from other potential explosions. The blast affected neighborhoods up to 3km away, with window panes smashed and various cars damaged.
At least one child was killed in the accident: an image of the eight-year-old girl’s backpack, pink and adorned with Disney princesses, is currently widely circulating on Weibo.
Though details are currently sketchy, there will be officials who will at the very least lose their jobs, if it’s found that the accident occurred due to a lapse in simple safety measures. Such circumstances would make the Xi’an incident similar to the Shanghai fire of November 2010, which saw several officials eventually being sentenced to prison time as a result.
Video of the scene outside Jiatian International Mansion can be viewed here.