Beijing, Jun 11 (PTI) A gas pipeline operated by a state-backed energy giant in southwest China’s Guizhou province exploded, injuring at least 24 people, officials said today.Also Read - China's PLA Has Found 'Missing' Arunachal Boy: Indian Army

Gas leaked from a section of the gas pipeline operated by State-controlled PetroChina in Shazi town of Qinglong county and then caused an explosion and fire about yesterday, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. No deaths have been reported. Also Read - US President Biden, Japanese PM Kishida Discuss China, Nuke Weapons During First Formal Talks

The pipeline was automatically shut down after the explosion and the fire was put out at 2:30 AM (local time) today. Also Read - China Building Illegal Villages in Disputed Bhutan Territory, Less Than 30 KM From Doklam: Report

Of the 24 hospitalised, eight were in critical condition, but the injuries were not life threatening, the report said.

The cause of the accident is under investigation, the report said, adding the search and rescue is continuing.

In July last year, a similar blast caused by heavy rains and a landslide near the same section of pipeline in Shazi killed eight and injured 35.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.