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10 killed as fire rips high-rise

By Wang Xiaodong | China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-02 06:49

Tianjin launches new round of safety checks across the city

Ten people died in a high-rise fire in Tianjin on Friday, triggering a new round of safety checks in the city.

Another five people suffered slight injuries and were receiving treatment in hospital, according to the Tianjin municipal government.

An investigation is under way into the cause of the fire, and some individuals are being held in custody, Sun Wenkui, vice-mayor of Tianjin, said at a news conference on Friday.

"We will find the exact cause of the accident and severely punish those responsible," he said.

Tianjin will conduct inspections across the city, particularly on high-rises and construction sites, to eliminate potential fire risks, he said.

The fire, which broke out at 4:07 am at an apartment building in Hexi district, engulfed about 300 square meters.

More than 200 firefighters and 34 fire engines were sent to the scene and the fire was put out around 6:40 am, said Jiang Bingqiang, chief of the district fire brigade.

The city's emergency rescue center also dispatched six ambulances equipped with intensive care units to the site, said Wang Xudong, deputy director of the Tianjin Health and Family Planning Commission.

Twenty-six people were rescued from the fire and all sent to the hospital. Ten died and five others remained hospitalized, he said.

Li Xueyi, director of the Hexi district government, said all the 10 deceased are male, and authorities were still verifying their identities.

The five injured, who are receiving treatment at two hospitals, were in stable condition, Wang said. Most of them suffered acute throat inflammation or carbon monoxide poisoning, he said.

City Tower is a commercial complex with a high-rise office building and another high-rise for serviced apartments, according to its website.

The fire was on the apartment building's 38th and 39th floors, which are under renovation, and the chief materials burned were decorative materials, said Jiang.

Yang Cheng contributed to this story.

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