Children die in Chinese martial arts center fire
The blaze erupted at 33:00 (19:00 GMT Thursday) and was then extinguished by the government in Zhecheng County, Henan Province.
A fire raged through a martial arts training center in China on Friday, killing 18 people, state media claiming most of the victims were children staying there.
The fire started at 3:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. GMT Thursday) and was then extinguished, the Zhecheng County government in Henan Province said on its website.
It is not known what caused the blaze, which injured 16 people, including four in serious condition, the county government said. Police arrested the center manager, the county said. He did not identify the person or the training center.
Most of the victims were students aged 7 to 16 living on the second floor of the center, the Beijing Youth Daily said in a report, though the report was later deleted from the newspaper’s website.
In a social media post, Zhonghong, a media outlet supported by the Chinese state planner, identified the center as the Zhenxing Martial Arts Center.
Appeals to the center and its founder Chen Lin went unanswered. Fires are not uncommon in China. In one of China’s most horrific fires, 309 people were killed in a nightclub in Luoyang city, also in Henan, in 2000.