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China: 26 Dead and Scores in Hospital After Shanxi Building Fire



November 16, 2023 - At least 26 people have died after a fire tore through an office building in northern China, state media report.

The fire at the four-storey building in Luliang City, Shanxi province broke out at around 07:00 local time on Thursday (23:00 GMT Wednesday).

Of the dozens evacuated from the Yongju Coal Industry Joint Building, 63 people were taken to hospital.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has instructed that "hidden risks" in key industries be investigated.

Mr Xi, who is currently in San Francisco for the Apec summit, also told authorities to safeguard people's lives and property, as well as social stability, Global Times reported.

State media earlier reported that the fire was under control.

Video posted on Chinese social media platform Weibo by the state-run Beijing Youth Daily showed flames and thick smoke coming out of the building.

The blaze broke out in a province that is the country's largest producer of coal.

Industrial accidents including fires often occur in China due to lax enforcement of safety standards.

In April, 29 people died in a hospital fire in the capital, Beijing, sparking public anger as many questioned the lack of reporting on the incident and why the relatives of patients were not informed earlier.

Last October, an explosion at a barbecue restaurant in north-western Yinchuan province killed 31 people.