China: 15 killed in Nanjing flat fire

Twenty-five fire engines and 130 firefighters were dispatched to fight the blaze.
China: 15 killed in Nanjing flat fire

A fire blasted through an apartment block in eastern China, killing fifteen people and injuring more than forty, according to local authorities.

Social media footage showed flames and plumes of black smoke devouring multiple storeys of a tower in Nanjing.

Officials believe the fire began on the first floor of the building, where electric bikes were being housed.

However, the particular cause of the fire was still being investigated.

The structure is in Nanjing's Yuhuatai area, a city of over eight million people located around 162 miles (260 kilometres) north-west of Shanghai.

Emergency services were first notified of the wildfire at 04:40 local time (20:40 GMT) on Friday, officials said on Saturday morning.

Twenty-five fire engines and 130 firefighters were dispatched to fight the blaze. The fire was doused by 06:00 (22:00 GMT), and the search and rescue effort ended about 14:00.

One of the 44 injured people taken to the hospital for treatment is in critical condition, and another is gravely hurt, according to officials.

At a news conference, Nanjing Mayor Chen Zhichang expressed condolences and apologies to the victims' families.

Aerial photographs of the skyscraper, posted on Friday after the fire was extinguised, showed some flats along the building's length with burned fronts.

Fires are common in China due to inadequate enforcement of safety rules.

Last month, President Xi Jinping called for "deep reflection" and increased measures to "curb the frequent occurrence of safety accidents" following a spate of devastating fires around the country.

The Nanjing fire occurred a month after 13 pupils, aged nine and ten, were killed when a fire broke out in a school dormitory in China's Henan province.

Days later, a fire started in the basement of a shop in Xinyu, killing at least 39 people and injuring nine.

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China: 15 killed in Nanjing flat fire


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