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Chongqing reviews safety standards after fatal blast

Rescuers transport a trapped person after a canteen collapsed in Wulong district, Southwest China's Chongqing, Jan 7, 2022.(PHOTO / XINHUA)

Authorities in Southwest China's Chongqing municipality launched a review of the city's safety standards after 16 people were killed and 10 injured when a canteen building collapsed on Friday.

The accident happened after an explosion rocked the canteen in a subdistrict office in Wulong district at noon on Friday.

A gas leak was suspected to have triggered the explosion, which led to the collapse of the canteen building, trapping 26 people inside.

People were having lunch in the canteen when the blast took place.

By midnight Friday, all the survivors had been rescued. Yang Lin, a spokesperson for the district government, said 10 people were pulled out alive and sent to hospital for treatment.

An investigation into the cause of the accident is ongoing. The Work Safety Committee of the State Council, China's Cabinet, said on Saturday that it is supervising the investigation.

The city said it is launching an overhaul of its safety protocols to eliminate potential hazards and prevent similar tragedies from happening again.

After the accident, Song Yuanming, vice-minister of emergency management, led a working group to Chongqing to guide the rescue work.

More than 600 personnel from the emergency management, fire, public security and medical services departments were involved in the search and rescue operation and the provision of medical care to the injured.