Colossal Explosion Captured on Camera As Suspected Gas Leak Shatters Buildings

A gas explosion that rocked a provincial capital in northeastern China early on Thursday has caused three deaths and left at least 30 others injured, according to rescuers.

A car dashcam captured the moment a ground-floor restaurant in Shenyang, Liaoning, blew up at 8:19 a.m., releasing a shockwave that shattered windows and damaged nearby vehicles and structures. Debris including glass and concrete pelted cars and pedestrians, while a large plume of smoke and dust rose from the site, the video showed.

The blast happened at the intersection of Taiyuan South Street and South 7th Road following a suspected gas leak, according to a notice by the Heping district government's propaganda department. The precise cause of the incident was still being investigated, it added.

The location of the blast—a barbecue restaurant at 222 Taiyuan South Street—was later confirmed by the Liaoning provincial fire department via a statement on the social media platform Weibo.

The three-story building is a mixed-use complex with businesses below and apartments above. According to China's Google competitor, Baidu Maps, supermarkets, hotels and a gym are among the businesses operating nearby.

China's state broadcaster CCTV, which carried the dashcam video as well as images of the aftermath, reported serious damage to a bus that was passing in front of the restaurant at the time. The vehicle with missing window panes and a mangled metal frame can be seen in CCTV footage and pictures.

Rescuers said at least 25 fire trucks and 110 firefighters had attended the site of the explosion, which caused significant damage within the blast radius. Residents were evacuated as officials reportedly cordoned off the area and cut the supply of water and electricity to nearby homes as a precaution.

The country's official Xinhua News Agency reported, however, that more than 15,000 households were left without electricity because of damaged cables after the explosion. Technicians from Shenyang's state-owned power company were conducting emergency repairs, the news service said.

The supply of gas to the restaurant where the explosion occurred had only been restored on the morning of the incident, CCTV reported. It had been stopped late on Wednesday for maintenance.

China Construction News, a newspaper run by the country's Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, said its local bureau had dispatched personnel to assist with search and rescue efforts, as well as to aid the investigation in order to address the matter in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.

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