BEIJING – A devastating fire in northern China‘s Shanxi province has left 25 people dead and dozens hospitalized after it ripped through a four-floor building belonging to the Yongju coal company in Luliang city on Thursday.
The incident occurred at approximately 6:50 am local time, prompting a swift response from emergency services.
Local authorities, quoted by state media, reported that the fire has now been brought under control, but rescue efforts are ongoing, and an investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.
The victims include individuals who were unable to escape the building during the blaze, with initial reports suggesting that 63 people were evacuated, and 51 of them were subsequently hospitalized.
The extent of injuries among the hospitalized individuals remains unclear as of now.
State broadcaster CCTV provided updates on the tragic incident, indicating that the death toll has reached 25.
However, it did not specify whether any of those taken to the hospital had succumbed to their injuries.
“Rescue work is still in progress, and the cause of the fire is under investigation,” stated official reports.
Video footage circulated on social media platform Weibo revealed the intensity of the blaze, with bright flames and thick black smoke engulfing the building.
Onlookers, visibly distressed, gathered in the parking lot while emergency response personnel rushed to the scene, donning protective gear.
China safety under scrutiny?
The incident raises concerns about industrial safety standards in China, where industrial accidents are unfortunately common due to lax regulations and inadequate enforcement.
This tragic event in Shanxi province follows similar incidents in recent months, including a deadly school gym roof collapse and a fatal explosion at a barbecue restaurant.
As the nation mourns the loss of lives in this latest tragedy, the focus now turns to investigating the circumstances surrounding the fire and ensuring that necessary measures are taken to prevent such incidents in the future.
Zhang Wei, a local resident, expressed the shock felt by the community, saying, “This is a terrible tragedy for our city. Our hearts go out to the families affected, and we hope that the authorities can determine the cause of the fire to prevent such incidents in the future.”
Chinese authorities have yet to release an official statement on the cause of the fire, and questions are being raised about the overall safety standards in industrial facilities across the country.