Explosion at apartment building in China’s Harbin, says state media

By Thomson Reuters May 22, 2024 | 9:01 PM

BEIJING (Reuters) – An explosion occurred at a five-story apartment building in China’s Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang province, with no immediate reports of casualties, according to Chinese state media on Thursday morning.

Witnesses told Xinhua news that the explosion happened after 7 a.m. (2300 GMT) at a building located at the intersection between Xiangshun and Gongbin streets in downtown Harbin.

Xinhua said the explosion was at an apartment on the fourth floor of the building.

Local residents heard a loud explosion, and suspected it was a gas explosion, according to the report. The blast rattled the balcony of the apartment and several other balconies in nearby apartments.

People were seen running out of the building. Ambulance, public security and fire personnel arrived at the site for rescue, Xinhua reported.

Gas explosions are a regular occurrence in China. In March, two people were killed and 26 injured after a suspected gas leak caused a massive blast at a restaurant in China’s northern province of Hebei that ripped facades from buildings and severely damaged cars.

(Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Writing by Bernard Orr; editing by Christian Schmollinger)