An explosion in a restaurant killed at least seven people Monday and injured another 31 in a city in North Western China, state media said.

The explosion happened at the start of the morning rush hour in a fast food restaurant in Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi province, according to a report on the website of the Xi’an Daily.

The website and the official Xinhua News Agency said the blast was likely caused by a natural gas leak. The explosion knocked windows out as far a mile (about two kilometres) away.

Photos online showed the front of a building had been blown into a street where there were several bodies covered in blue plastic.

Many of the victims, including children, were walking by the front of the restaurant or waiting for a bus, the website said.

Xinhua quoted a doctor as saying many were injured with wounds to the face and head.

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