Chinese authorities reported that at least three people have died while 30 others were injured after a devastating gas explosion at a restaurant located in the northeastern city of Shenyang on Thursday morning.

It was revealed that the incident occurred inside a mixed-use residential and commercial building, tearing off its walls. A statement released by officials said that they have transferred all of the injured people to hospitals. An investigation into the cause and extent of the blast was still being conducted.

Devastating Gas Explosion

Witnesses took photographs and videos at the scene of the incident and have become viral on social media platforms and news outlets. The footage showed a concrete skeleton was all that remained of the building and nearby buildings had their windows shattered. Vehicles in the area were also damaged and debris covered the streets.

The city of Shenyang is an area that is home to more than nine million Chinese residents and is the capital of Liaoning province. The recent incident is similar to the one that occurred at a market in central China in June that killed 25 people and injured more than 130 others, CNN reported.

Authorities from the Heping district provided updated casualty information as fire and rescue teams worked to rescue and assess the situation in the area. The Liaoning fire department shared images of the scene and showed the reinforcements bars of the building were exposed. Officials suspected that the cause of the massive blast was a gas leak.

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Nearby residents have been evacuated by police and firefighters while a woman who lived nearby reported her windows breaking due to the strength of the blast. Fortunately, she said that her flat did not sustain any major damage.

Another woman who was living on the fifth floor of the building facing the blast site said that the blast destroyed all of the windows in her block. "I was scared when the explosion happened. Then I saw the fire trucks. They came quite quickly, after about a little more than 10 minutes," the resident said, the South China Morning Post reported.

China's Growing Power Crisis

The incident came as the country is struggling to meet demands for electricity, causing a growing power crisis situation. On Thursday, China's thermal coal futures fell the maximum permitted 11%, which extended losses that began on Tuesday. At the time, Beijing suggested it could intervene to ease surging prices that have resulted in power shortages throughout many regions nationwide.

Chinese authorities are urging miners to increase coal production and boost imports so that power stations can steadily rebuild their supplies before the winter heating season. Economists and analysts anticipate that despite instabilities in the prices of coal, overall high energy, labor, and other costs will be shouldered partly by end-consumers.

On Tuesday, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China said that it was analyzing ways to intervene and decrease the price of coal in the country. Officials said they would work diligently to bring the prices back to a more reasonable range, calling for a meeting with key coal companies and the industry association, Reuters reported.

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