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Fire at Martial Arts School in central China kills 18 people

June 26, 2021
The Zhenxing Martial Arts School in Henan province, central China. — Courtesy SCMP
The Zhenxing Martial Arts School in Henan province, central China. — Courtesy SCMP

BEIJING — A fire swept through a martial arts school in central China’s Henan province early Friday, killing 18 people and injuring 16, authorities said.

The fire has been extinguished, and police have detained the person in charge of the school. Four people were severely injured and 12 have light injuries, AP quoted a short statement from authorities in the city of Shangqiu.

All the students who boarded at the school were between ages 7 to 16.

The children, aged between seven and 16, were asleep on the first floor while school owner Chen Lin and his wife slept on the ground floor, news website Thepaper.cn reported.

An eyewitness said he heard the children screaming for their lives, according to Hongxinwen — a state-affiliated online news portal overseen by the National Development and Reform Commission — which also identified the school as the Zhenxing Martial Arts School.

A total of 34 students were enrolled at the school and all doctors at the local hospital were mobilized to treat the victims, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Henan party secretary Lou Yangsheng on Friday called on local cadres to “reflect on” the tragedy, which happened just days before the Communist Party’s centenary celebrations.

The deadly blaze was the latest in a series of incidents resulting in high numbers of casualties, which prompted the central government to order nationwide safety inspections. These included a deadly blast in Shiyan, Hubei province, earlier this month, which killed 25 people and injured more than 100. — Agencies


June 26, 2021
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