At least 20 trapped as explosion rocks govt office

Emergency services are trying to rescue some 20 people after a blast shook an office block in Chongqing, China

A building, understood to house a government canteen, has collapsed in the Chinese city of Chongqing following an explosion. According to state news, at least 20 people remain trapped in the rubble.

A blast ripped through a building in the central Chinese metropolis of Chongqing at 12:10pm on Friday. State media says the explosion was caused by a “suspected gas leak” in a canteen and resulted in the collapse of a neighborhood committee building.

According to news outlet CCTV, authorities have sent around 260 emergency service workers and 50 vehicles to the scene of the incident. It was reported that nine people had been rescued so far.

Some were injured and had been taken to hospital, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Footage shared online appears to show smoke billowing up from a building in the Wulong district of Chongqing. In other clips, injured persons can be seen being carried away from the collapsed building.

An “on-site emergency response headquarters” has been set up, according to local officials, to direct rescue work and provide a forward base for medical treatment.

Xinhua reported that many people have been injured. Chinese authorities have yet to report any deaths.

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