Nanchang, Jan 25: Thirty-nine people were killed and nine others injured after a building fire broke out Wednesday afternoon in the city of Xinyu in east China's Jiangxi Province, local authorities said.
The fire broke out in the building at around 3 p.m. in the Yushui District of Xinyu, the local fire response emergency headquarters was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying.
The rescue operations by nearly 120 firefighters concluded at 8:50 p.m., with no remaining people trapped. Among the injured, eight are in stable condition, while another one is being rescued.
The fire started in the basement of a six-story commercial and residential brick-concrete structure. The flame quickly spread to shops on the first and second floors.
A preliminary investigation revealed that the fire was caused by the illegal use of fire by workers for the refurbishment of cold storage inside the basement. The thick smoke quickly engulfed up to the second floor, which was occupied by training facilities and a hotel.
The public security authorities have already placed 12 responsible people in custody.
The provincial authorities vowed to hold those responsible accountable in accordance with the investigation results. Also, they ordered a "blanket" inspection to identify hidden safety dangers in street shops, schools and crowded places such as scenic spots and shopping malls.