East China building fire kills 39, injures 9

East China building fire kills 39, injures 9
Photo credit: Pixabay

Thirty-nine people were killed and nine others injured after a building fire broke out Wednesday afternoon in the city of Xinyu in east China's Jiangxi Province, local authorities said, Xinhua reported.

The fire broke out from the building at around 3 p.m. in the Yushui District of Xinyu, said the local fire response emergency headquarters.

The rescue operations by nearly 120 firefighters concluded at 8:50 p.m., with no remaining people trapped. Among the injured, eight are in stable condition, while another one is being rescued.

The fire started at the basement of a six-story commercial and residential brick-concrete structure. The flame quickly spread to shops on the first and second floors.

A preliminary investigation revealed that the fire was caused by illegal use of fire by workers for the refurbishment of a cold storage inside the basement. The thick smoke quickly engulfed up to the second floor, which is occupied by training facilities and a hotel.

The public security authorities have already placed 12 responsible people in custody.

The provincial authorities vowed to hold those responsible accountable in accordance with the investigation results. Also, they ordered a "blanket" inspection to identify hidden safety dangers in street shops, schools and crowded places such as scenic spots and shopping malls.

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