Chinese TV reported on Sunday that 12 people were killed and 138 were injured, 37 of them seriously, when a gas pipeline exploded in a residential area in the center of the country.
He added that the authorities evacuated 150 people from the area after the fatal accident, which occurred in the city of Xi’an in Hubei province.
The disaster management office in Xi’an, where the explosion occurred, said in a statement that search operations were continuing.
Video footage taken by eyewitnesses showed several destroyed buildings and paramedics evacuating shocked survivors on stretchers.
An investigation was opened to determine the causes of the explosion, according to the statement.
Chinese television footage showed scattered debris and broken glass on the first floor of the collapsed building, where people were shopping for groceries and eating breakfast when the explosion occurred.
The footage also showed debris scattered on a street in the middle of damaged buildings.
The television said hospitals in Xi’an are appealing to residents to donate blood.
The explosion came a day after the death of eight people due to the leakage of a toxic substance from a chemical factory in Goyang, in the southwest of the country.