At least 29 people have died after a fire broke out in a hospital in the Chinese capital of Beijing. The incident happened in Changfeng Hospital in the Fengtai district of the capital city on Tuesday night.
“As of 6 pm local, 21 people have unfortunately died,” Chinese state media, CCTV, said. The death toll would later increase to 29.
Li Zongrong, the deputy head of the district said at least 39 people were injured in the incident, with three in severe condition. Those that died in the accident include 26 patients, two hospital workers and a family member. Most of the patients affected were critically ill when the fire broke out because the hospital wing was housing patients that were critically ill.
Lizrong told reporters that the oldest victim was 88 years while the youngest was 40 years. 13 of them were men, while 16 were women.
Fortunately, several persons were able to escape the blaze by using the windows. Others tied hospital bedsheets together to climb down. About 142 escaped the fire. While injured patients have been moved to other hospitals for intensive care, unaffected patients in the hospital unit have been transferred to other buildings.
The cause of the fire
Officials are currently investigating the cause of one of China’s deadliest fire outbreaks in years. However, since construction is currently going on in some parts of the hospital, there are suggestions that the fire emanated from an avoidable welding spark from the inpatient segment. Antigua News could not independently verify this claim at the time of this report.
The leadership of Changfeng, a private hospital, was arrested by the authorities as part of the investigation process. So far, a total of 12 people are in detention, including the hospital’s head and her deputy. The head of the construction crew was also arrested.