13 die when Chinese residence burns


Thirteen people died in a fire at a school dormitory in China’s Henan province.

The official news service Xinhua reported that the fire at the Yingchai School in the town of Yanshanpu was reported at around 17:00 on Friday. Thirteen deaths were confirmed and one person was injured. This victim is being treated in a hospital and is in a stable condition, Xinhua reported.

Rescue workers were quickly on the scene and the flames were extinguished in just over half an hour.

Authorities did not provide any clarity on whether the victims were children at the residence. However, according to reports in the Hebai Daily, a teacher revealed that all the victims are learners in the same gr .3 class of nine and ten year olds.

Local authorities are investigating the cause of the fire and at least one person with ties to the school is being detained.

Online rage

Yanshanpu is located on the outskirts of Nanyang, a city with almost 10 million inhabitants.

Little information about the boarding school is readily available, although videos shared earlier this year show young children, including kindergarteners, in uniforms with the school’s name on them, as well as older children learning how to master calligraphy.

Chinese social media users reacted angrily on Saturday, calling for those responsible for any negligence to pay.

“It’s terrifying; 13 children from 13 families gone in the blink of an eye…if there is no heavy punishment for this, their souls will not rest in peace,” wrote a Weibo user.

However, fires and fatal accidents are not uncommon in China, precisely because of lax safety standards and poor enforcement.

In November, 26 people were killed and many others injured when a fire broke out at the office of a coal company in Shanxi province.

In July, another 11 people died when the roof of a school’s gymnasium collapsed.

A month earlier, an explosion at a barbecue restaurant claimed the lives of 31 people and officials undertook to launch a nationwide campaign to promote safety in the workplace.

In April, a fire at a hospital in Beijing led to 29 deaths and desperate survivors jumped out of windows in an attempt to escape the flames.

After the fire at the coal company, pres. Xi Jinping called on Chinese to investigate hidden dangers at key industries. He also called for emergency plans and prevention measures to be improved.