A fire that started Thursday morning at a coal mine company building in Lyuliang City, in the Shanxi province of North China, claimed the lives of 11 individuals.
The fire is reported to have occurred in Lyuliang’s Lishi district. Rescue efforts are underway, according to the local authorities. State media reported that at least 51 people have been hospitalised following the unfortunate incident. The official broadcaster CCTV stated, “Eleven people have been confirmed dead and the precise number of casualties is still being counted.”
Dozens of people had gathered in the parking lot to witness the blazing fire and dense black smoke emerging from the building in the video footage shared on the social media platform Weibo. The building in the video and the company’s website photos of the headquarters matched. The video also showed emergency response professionals rushing outside a firetruck stationed at the building’s entrance to get protective gear.
The deadly fire is said to have broken out at around 6:50 am local time. The investigation into the fire’s cause is still ongoing. China has a high rate of industrial accidents as a result of inadequate safety regulations and enforcement. In the northeast of the nation, a school gym’s roof collapsed in July, leaving eleven people dead. Thirty-one people were killed in an explosion at a BBQ restaurant in northwest China one month prior, which spurred government announcements of a national push to increase worker safety.
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At least 165 people perished in one of the deadliest such incidents that occurred in 2015 in Tianjin when a massive explosion occurred at a chemical warehouse.