At least 14 people are dead and 147 injured after a powerful explosion rocked Fugu county in Shaanxi province on Monday afternoon.
State news media reports that the blast occurred at a prefabricated house in the township of Xinmin, damaging dozens of surrounding buildings, including the local hospital.
An initial police investigation has indicated that the blast was likely caused by illegally stored explosives in the makeshift building. The owner of the building has been detained and authorities are searching for the tenant, who began renting the building in September.
Of the 147 injured in the blast, 11 still remain in intensive care.
Rescue efforts had mostly come to an end by Tuesday morning.
Yesterday, photos and videos of the town-turned-warzone began to spread on Chinese social media. While Xinhua has published photos, updates and videos from the disaster zone, reports by other Chinese media outlets have largely been wiped from the Chinese internet.
Meanwhile, “Shaanxi explosion” and even “Shaanxi” have become some of the most highly censored words on Weibo, according to Free Weibo, as state censors work to control the conversation following the disaster.
The blast happened to occur on the same day that nearly 300 senior Chinese officials gathered in Beijing to kick off the Communist Party’s Sixth Plenum, where Xi looks to consolidate his power.
You can watch some videos of the aftermath of the explosion below. [Warning: Graphic Content]:
[Images via Weibo]