Tragedy in China: At least 25 dead from a fire that broke out in a building
51 were taken to hospital due to fire
Policemen prepare to set up a line to keep away the onlookers as firemen extinguish a fire on a lumberyard at the south side of Beijing, China, Tuesday, June 30, 2015. The cause of the fire on the lumberyard is under investigation and no casualties have been reported, according to the Beijing Fire Department. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
At least 25 people have died and dozens are hospitalized after a fire broke out in a business building in northern China's Shaanxi province today, state media reported.
The fire broke out at around 06:50 local time (24:50 Greek time on Wednesday) in a four-story building of the Yongju Coal Production Company in Luliang City.
"The death toll has risen to 25. The fire is now under control and rescue operations are continuing," state broadcaster CCTV said in a post on Chinese social media Weibo.
An initial toll that had been released put the death toll at 11.
CCTV had initially reported that 63 people had been evacuated and 51 had been taken to hospital. "The cause of the fire is under investigation," CCTV said. Videos posted on Weibo show thick black smoke billowing from the building and dozens of people watching the fire from its parking lot.
Industrial accidents are frequent in China. They are often due to poor application of safety rules. In July, 11 people died when a school gymnasium roof collapsed in the northeastern part of the country.
Just last month, an explosion at a restaurant in northwest China killed 31 people and prompted authorities to launch a national awareness and information campaign to promote workplace safety.
In April, a fire at a Beijing hospital killed 29 people and forced desperate people inside to jump from windows to escape.