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Workers were repairing the petroleum pipeline, which was leaking oil at around 3 a.m.(local time), according to Qingdao government office.
The pipeline is owned by Sinopec, China’s largest oil refiner.
Photographs posted on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, showed the blast had caused a large trench in the ground and car windows nearby were cracked.
Chinese authorities are investigating the cause of the explosion and more details are awaited. In the meantime, rescue work is underway at the site.