East China building fire caused by illegal use of fire: Officials
Nanchang: The deadly building fire in east China’s Jiangxi Province was caused by the illegal use of fire, said local authority at a press conference on Thursday.
The fire in Xinyu City which killed 39 and injured nine others broke out at around 3 p.m. on Wednesday after workers doing refurbishment of a cold storage inside the basement used fire illegally. According to Xu Hong, mayor of Xinyu, heavy smoke soon engulfed the first and second floor, trapping students at training facilities there and people in a hotel.
Some students from higher vocational schools were among the dead, and the local government is trying to comfort the families of the victims.
A total of 12 responsible people were put into custody and are being investigated by the public security authorities.
After the incident happened, 118 rescuers with 20 fire engines rushed to the scene, putting out the fire at 6:50 p.m. The rescue operations concluded at 8:50 p.m., with no remaining people trapped, said Gong Junhui, head of the fire brigade of Xinyu.
The city has launched an inspection to identify hidden fire hazards in all educational institutions, especially boarding schools, and ordered the suspension of all after-school training facilities, said Zeng Xianfeng, head of the education bureau of Xinyu.
Meanwhile, local government vowed to enhance regular monitoring at those venues, especially crowded places including kindergartens and schools to reduce fire hazards.