29 killed, dozens of others injured in Beijing hospital fire

At least 29 people were killed and dozens of others injured in a fire that ripped through a hospital in China's capital Beijing, a city official confirmed Wednesday, News.Az reports citing AFP. 

The fire at the Beijing Changfeng Hospital in the Fengtai District broke out at around 1 p.m. (5 a.m. GMT) Tuesday and was extinguished about half an hour later.

Li Zongrong, deputy mayor of the district, expressed his "deep condolences" as he announced the new toll at a press conference.

Twelve people, including the facility's director, have been detained in connection with the fire, said Sun Haitao from Beijing's public security bureau, adding that representatives from a company renovating the hospital were among those being held.

State broadcaster CCTV reported that a preliminary probe revealed the blaze had been caused by "sparks generated during the internal renovation and construction of the inpatient department of the hospital."

The sparks "ignited the volatiles of the flammable paint on the site," CCTV said.

Social media users posted videos Tuesday of people sitting on external air conditioning units, while others clinging to ropes jumped from the building.

The victims were 16 women and 13 men, Li said.

"We feel deep remorse and guilt," he told journalists.

"On behalf of the Fengtai district party committee and district government, I hereby express our deep condolences for the victims, and express our sincere respects to the victims' families, the injured and their relatives, and apologise to the people of the whole city."


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