Deadly blast hits China city Xian

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Media captionAftermath of the explosion

At least eight people have been killed in a suspected gas explosion in the Chinese city of Xian, officials say.

The blast, at a fast-food restaurant, ripped through a commercial building in a suburb of the city, sending shards of glass and debris into the street.

State media reported that 31 other people were hurt in the explosion at 07:30 (23:30 GMT, Sunday).

Reports said that the dead included children walking past the building on their way to school.

Seven deaths were reported at two hospitals, and the body of a woman was later found at the restaurant.

State media reported that the blast shattered windows several kilometres from the scene.

The Xinhua news agency and a local news website blamed the explosion on a gas leak.

Images posted on Chinese websites showed a building with its front completely destroyed, and several bodies covered with blue plastic.

Other images showed wrecked cars, and several emergency teams at the scene.