The tanker transporting liquified natural gas exploded on a highway exit ramp in Wenling, a coastal city in Zhejiang province, according to Xinhua.
On Sunday, Zhu Minglian, the deputy mayor of Wenling city, said the truck was traveling between Ningbo and Wenzhou. The cause of the explosion is under investigation, Zhu added.
People are still missing and a rescue effort is underway, according to local officials.
Aerial images of the scene show multiple collapsed buildings adjacent to the Wengling West highway exit.
At least 34 fire trucks and 138 rescuers have been deployed to the site, according to Xinhua. Another 62 fire trucks and 316 rescuers were deployed from other regions.