BEIJING (AP) — A leaking liquefied gas container exploded on contact with fire in a restaurant in eastern China, killing 17 people, authorities said.
The explosion happened just before noon Saturday at a small privately run restaurant in Wuhu city's Jinghu district, the Wuhu city government said on its microblog. Wuhu is in Anhui province, about 350 kilometers (220 miles) west of Shanghai.
An initial investigation found the gas cylinder leaked and came into contact with fire, triggering an explosion, the city government said.
The restaurant was one of many in an alley about 50 meters (yards) long, said a worker at a rice noodles restaurant across from the one where the blast happened.
"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," the worker, who would only give his surname, Wang, said by telephone.