CNPC gas pipeline explosion injures 24 people in southwest China: government

BEIJING (Reuters) - A gas pipeline operated by China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) exploded on Sunday night in Guizhou province in southwest China, injuring 24 people, with three in critical condition, according to a posting on an official government Weibo account on Monday.

The blast occurred in the Shazi district of Qianxinan city in Guizhou province, Xinhua said. No deaths have been reported.

Footage from state TV showed glare from the fire lighting up nearby buildings after the explosion on Sunday night.

The fire was out as of 2:30 a.m. on Monday (1830 GMT on Sunday), the municipal government of Qianxinan Buyei and Miao Autonomous Prefecture said on its official Weibo account.

The pipeline is an extension of a Myanmar-China gas line that delivers natural gas from Kyaukpyu on Myanmar’s coast to southwest China.

After the explosion at 11:20 p.m. on Sunday, automatic safety control systems closed the pipeline, Xinhua said.

The cause of the accident is under investigation, said the report, and search and rescue is continuing.

A spokesman with CNPC did not provide further details when contacted by Reuters.

A similar blast caused by heavy rains and a landslide near the same section of pipeline in Shazi killed eight and injured 35 in July 2017.

Reporting by Dominique Patton and Meng Meng; Editing by Joseph Radford and Tom Hogue