An explosion believed to have been caused by a gas leak at a restaurant in northern China’s Hebei province has killed at least one person and injured 22 others, according to the first, still preliminary, account of authorities broadcast by Chinese state television.

“For now”, the authorities are talking about “one dead and 22 injured”, the CCTV network reported, clarifying that it is believed that the explosion at the restaurant, which mainly offered grilled chicken, was a gas leak. The store was based in a village belonging to Yangjiao Municipality, about 50 kilometers east of Beijing.

The explosion, which occurred at 07:55 (local time; 01:55 Greek time) almost completely destroyed the building where the restaurant was located and caused damage to cars.

36 vehicles and 154 members of the emergency services rushed to the scene, the fire department said.

Fatal accidents are common in China due to lax enforcement of safety regulations. President Xi Jinping issued “important instructions” at the start of the year to reduce “the number of accidents”.

In February, an apartment building fire killed 15 people in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing. In January, at least 39 people died when a fire broke out at a shopping mall in Xingyu (central China). Just 5 days earlier, a fire in the school dormitory claimed the lives of 13 young students.

In June, a restaurant explosion killed 31 people and prompted authorities to launch a national awareness and information campaign to promote workplace safety.