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August 24, 2009

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Homes checked for gas leaks after blast

THE city's gas supplier is checking every household in Maqiao Town, Minhang District, for possible gas leaks after an explosion at a two-story home injured seven people on Friday.

The explosion was caused by a leak, but the cause of the leak is still being investigated, Shanghai Dazhong Gas Co Ltd said yesterday.

"We won't know for certain until Monday," Tang Yichun, a Dazhong official, told Shanghai Daily.

Natural gas had been installed in the home, but the family hadn't started using it yet as they didn't have a proper cooker. The gas meter should have been at zero, but Dazhong found it had started running before the explosion, indicating there was a leak, Xinmin Evening Post reported.

The injured are all in a safe condition, according to hospitals.

The accident happened Friday night in a two-story house on Fuli Road when the family came home.

They were told by a security guard that there was a gas leak in their house. They went in to check along with the guard and three neighbors and triggered the explosion when they turned on the lights.

Residents in the area said they heard a huge explosion. They said they saw flames at the house, smelled strong fumes and heard glass cracking.

The explosion destroyed the first floor, ruined part of the roof and shattered all the windows.

Residents said nearby homes were in the process of changing to natural gas from liquid gas.


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