China evacuates 18,000 from pipeline blast area

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Beijing, Nov 23 (IANS) A total of 18,000 people have been evacuated from a district in China’s port city Qingdao where an oil spill-triggered blast has killed at least 47 people, authorities said Saturday.

The government distributed 2,000 candles to the residents in Huangdao district Friday night after oil leaked from a Sinopec pipeline, flowed into the municipal pipe network, and caused an explosion at 10.30 a.m., Xinhua reports.

Water, gas and electricity were cut off in parts of the district after the blast. The government distributed 40,000 servings of free food for breakfast and lunch.

It has provided water for the residents since Friday night and also allocated an additional 17 tonnes of vegetables to the market.

So far, electricity has been restored in all but two communities in the district, a government official said.

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