8 employees from gas company arrested after gas explosion in Central China city kills 25 and injures 138
Published: Jun 18, 2021 04:14 AM
Shiyan explosion Photo:VCG


Eight employees from a gas company in Shiyan, Central China's Hubei Province, were arrested by local police after a deadly gas explosion took the lives of 25 people and injured 138 others on Sunday morning. 

The explosion took place at round 6 am local time at Yanhu residential community on Sunday and destroyed a local market. 913 households close to the site were evacuated on Sunday afternoon. 

The market was a two-story building constructed in the early 1990s, with 19 shops on the first floor and a community activity room on the second floor. There were other 46 stalls across the road from the building. 

A preliminary investigation shows the explosion was caused by a gas pipeline owned by Shiyan Dongfeng Zhongran City Gas Company. The company's safety management system was not rigorous and workers in the company failed to shoulder their responsibilities to inspect the gas pipeline in accordance with rules. Besides, there were serious faults in the operation of equipment, according to a statement published by the city government on early Friday.  

A total of eight people, including the company's general manager surnamed Huang, were arrested. Further investigation into the cause of the accident is taking place. 

Once the investigation is completed, relevant units and individuals will be held accountable in accordance with the law, the statement said. 

The Global Times visited the explosion site on Monday afternoon and found the garden of a house, near the collapsed building, carpeted with iron debris. A local resident surnamed Li informed that the accident happened while a maintenance worker was fixing a leaking gas pipe.

The Hubei provincial government issued an emergency notice on workplace safety on Sunday, saying lessons should be drawn from the accident. The province will immediately carry out a targeted review of the natural gas sector and strengthen regulations for key industries, according to the notice.

The Work Safety Committee of the State Council also announced on Monday that it will oversee the investigation of the gas explosion. The committee urged government departments to ensure safety in gas production operations. China's Ministry of Emergency Management also sent a team to guide the rescue work. 

Global Times