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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 April 2024

China: 15 people killed, 44 injured in blaze at residential building in Nanjing city

Footage circulating on Chinese social media showed several floors of the residential skyscraper, in Nanjing city, consumed in flames and smoke billowing out of it

Deutsche Welle Published 24.02.24, 11:25 AM
Deadly fires are a common occurrence in China where safety measures are often bypassed

Deadly fires are a common occurrence in China where safety measures are often bypassed Deutsche Welle

At least 15 people died and another 44 were injured in a blaze at a residential building in east China's Nanjing city, local authorities said on Saturday.

A preliminary investigation showed the fire, which broke out early on Friday, started on the building's first floor where electric bikes had been placed, officials said in a press conference.

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Of the 44 injured, one was critical, while the others were seriously hurt, officials said.

At around 4:39 a.m. on Friday (20:39 GMT Thursday), the local fire department received an alarm about the fire in the Yuhuatai District, Chinese state-owned news agency Xinhua reported.

The fire had been extinguished by 6:00 a.m. (2200 GMT Thursday). The search and rescue operation ended eight hours later, authorities said.

Authorities are further investigating the building fire

Authorities are further investigating the building fire Deutsche Welle

Footage circulating on Chinese social media platforms showed a skyscraper on fire in the middle of the night with black smoke billowing out of it. Images also showed several floors of the building consumed in the fire.

Nanjing Mayor Chen Zhichang offered his condolences and apologies to the victims' families in a press conference.

Deadly fires are a common occurrence in China, where safety measures are often bypassed or insufficiently enforced.

In January this year, dozens died after a blaze broke out at a store in the central city of Xinyu, with Xinhua reporting that the fire had been caused due to the "illegal" usage of fireworks in the basement. In the same month, 13 children died at a boarding school as they slept in their dormitory.

In November, 26 people died in a coal fire in China's Shanxi province. Before that, in April 2023, a hospital fire killed 29 people.

After the coal fire in November, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for the country to improve emergency plans and prevention measures.

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