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2021-06-15 07:34:54

Two days after a gas explosion killed at least 25 people in the central Hubei province, hundreds of rescue workers are still digging through the rubble to find more survivors.

The explosion of a two-story building at a local market in Shiyan City on Sunday has left 138 people injured, of whom 37 are said to be severely injured, according to local officials. The building in the city’s Zhangwan District was constructed in the 1990s and housed 19 stores — including pharmacies and breakfast shops — on the first floor, with the second floor mostly vacant.

According to local officials, an investigation committee has been set up to look into the cause of the explosion. More than 2,000 people have been tasked with handling the incident’s aftermath.

The explosion occurred at around 6:40 a.m., the day before Dragon Boat Festival, while residents were out buying vegetables and eating breakfast, according to domestic media reports. Many residents living in the area recounted waking up to the blaring sound of the explosion and their apartments’ glass windows shattering.

Videos from the market posted on social media show the building’s structural damage, with nearby streets filled with debris. Cars parked in the vicinity are seen covered with dirt and grime from the explosion.

More than 913 residents near the explosion site have been evacuated, according to local officials.

Sunday’s explosion came only a day after a chemical leak at a factory in the southwestern Guizhou province’s Guiyang killed eight people. Local authorities said they were investigating the incident, according to state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Editor: Bibek Bhandari.

(Header image: Rescue workers search for survivors at the explosion site in Shiyan City, Hubei province, June 13, 2021. Xinhua)