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Chinese authorities focus on fire hazards after restaurant blast


By Casey Hall

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s State Council Security Committee and municipal and provincial governments have held emergency video conferences and issued warnings about fire hazards and safety after a blast in the northwest that killed 31 people on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued an emergency circular, urging all localities to investigate “hidden dangers” and strengthen supervision and inspection.

President Xi Jinping ordered a safety overhaul across the country, calling on all regions to rectify safety risks.

On Friday, another explosion related to a gas leak was reported in the city of Zhengzhou, state media said.

The facade of a house collapsed due to the blast, burying four people, all of whom where later rescued, with two sustaining serious injuries and two others with minor injuries.

Another deadly fire at a hospital in Beijing in April killed 29 people.

Following a hastily convened video conference on Thursday, Beijing mayor Yin Yong stressed that close attention should be paid to investigating and rectifying fire hazards.

Beijing’s municipal government, as well as the provincial governments of Sichuan, Guizhou and Hainan have all called attention to fire dangers and the safe handling of liquefied gas.

Sichuan’s Governor Huang Qiang said his province would immediately carry out an investigation and treatment of gas safety hazards.

(Reporting by Casey Hall; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Frances Kerry)

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