CHINA — A blaze at an apartment building in northwest China’s Xinjiang region has killed 10 people and injured nine, officials said on Friday, in the country’s second major fire this week that killed a total of 48 people.
The fire broke out on Thursday evening in the regional capital Urumqi, where temperatures dropped below freezing after dark.
According to several state media, the flames spread upwards from the 15th to the 17th floor, with smoke rising to the 21st floor. It took about three hours to extinguish the fire.
According to reports, the deaths and injuries occurred due to toxic fumes, and those who were taken to the hospital are expected to survive. He said that preliminary investigation suggests that the fire started from an electrical strip in the bedroom of an apartment on the 15th floor.
Outdated infrastructure, poor safety awareness and, in some cases, government corruption have resulted in a series of recent fires, explosions and building collapses in China, posing a continuing threat. New outbreaks of COVID-19, lockdowns and harsh travel restrictions are affecting millions of people. ,
The Jixiangyuan community, where the Urumqi fire broke out, has been designated a “COVID-19 low-risk zone” and residents have been allowed out of their apartments, according to reports. It was not clear whether he was allowed to leave his compound or not.
Urumqi has not seen any major outbreaks recently, reporting only 977 cases as of Friday, almost all of them asymptomatic. However, as in many parts of China, local officials are leaning towards more extreme measures to contain the outbreak in their jurisdiction for fear of losing their jobs.
The tragedy comes days after 38 people died in a fire caused by welding sparks at an industrial trading company in central China that ignited cotton cloth.
Four people were arrested in connection with Monday’s fire in the city of Anyang and local authorities ordered a comprehensive safety inspection to root out potential threats.