CHONGQING, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- More than 20 people were believed to have been trapped after a blast rocked a canteen of a subdistrict office in Wulong District, southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, on Friday noon.
The accident took place at 12:10 p.m. due to suspected gas leakage which triggered the explosion and caused the collapse, said the municipal publicity department.
According to witnesses, people were having lunch in the canteen when the blast took place. A number of people injured have been rushed to the hospital for treatment and rescue work is still underway.
China's Ministry of Emergency Management has dispatched a workgroup and several experts to guide the rescue efforts.
Huang Ming, minister of emergency management, has called for efforts to immediately inspect the situation, find out the exact number of victims trapped, determine the cause of the accident and prevent such mishaps from happening again.
The local fire and rescue department has dispatched 260 professional members and 50 rescue engines to the spot. Rescue teams of 60 professional members equipped with 20 cranes and excavators have also been called in for assistance, according to the ministry.■