July 18, 2024

Fatal fire claims lives in Nanjing’s Yuhuatai district

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Authorities in eastern China’s Nanjing have reported at least 15 fatalities and 44 injuries resulting from a fire that engulfed a residential building, as disclosed in a press conference on Saturday. The incident, which occurred early Friday morning, is believed to have initiated on the first floor of the building, where electric bikes were stored, according to preliminary investigations.

Situated in the Yuhuatai district, Nanjing, a bustling city with a population exceeding eight million and located approximately 260 kilometers (162 miles) northwest of Shanghai, bore witness to the tragic event. By 6:00 am (2200 GMT Thursday), firefighting efforts had successfully quelled the blaze, with search and rescue operations concluding around 02:00 pm Friday, officials confirmed. The response involved the deployment of twenty-five fire trucks to combat the flames.

Distressing footage circulated on Chinese social media platforms depicted the skyscraper ablaze amidst the night, engulfed in thick black smoke. Images captured the formidable inferno consuming multiple floors of the building, juxtaposed with the flashing lights of emergency vehicles amidst the darkness. Subsequent footage showed billowing white smoke emanating from various sections of the structure.

Of the 44 individuals injured, all were promptly transported to hospitals for urgent medical attention, with one individual listed in critical condition and another sustaining serious injuries, municipal authorities disclosed. During a press briefing, Mayor Chen Zhichang extended condolences and expressed apologies to the families of the victims.

This tragic incident adds to a series of fatal accidents that have plagued China in recent months, underscoring systemic challenges related to safety standards and enforcement. President Xi Jinping’s recent call for introspection and intensified efforts to mitigate the recurrence of such incidents underscores the urgency for comprehensive reform and stringent safety protocols nationwide. The lamentable incident in Nanjing follows similar tragedies, including a fatal fire in Xinyu, central China, and a devastating blaze in a Henan province school dormitory, emphasizing the imperative for proactive measures to prevent future calamities.

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