10 dead, 35 injured in hotel fire in NE China
Updated: 2011-05-02 10:42
The Home Inns hotel is pictured after a blaze that killed 10 people and injured 35, in Tonghua city, Northeast China's Jilin province, May 1, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]
CHANGCHUN - Ten people have been confirmed dead and 35 injured in a hotel fire in Northeast China's Jilin province early Sunday morning, local authorities said.
The fire broke out at about 3:30 am at a building which houses the No 1 store of Home Inns, the country's largest budget hotel operator, in Dongchang District of Tonghua city in Jilin province, the city government's publicity department said in a statement.
The fire was put out about half an hour later.
The seven-storey building has a karaoke bar and a restaurant on the first and second floors and the Home Inns hotel is based on the floors above.
Initial investigation found the fire started at the shared stair hall on the first floor and spread to the second floor, which then sent heavy smokes up the floors. The ten, mostly from the fifth and seventh floors, were choked to death.
The 35 injured have been sent to hospital for emergency treatment. Of them, three are seriously injured, though the injuries are not life-threatening.
"Almost none of them suffered burns," said Qiao Shuping, deputy president of Tonghua city People's Hospital. "Their main symptoms are dizziness, nausea and sore throat."
"We sucked out a lot of soot from the respiratory tract of a seriously injured child," Qiao added.
One slightly injured woman said she rushed out of the hotel room after hearing someone shouting "Fire! Fire!". But she did not see any fire but heavy smoke outside.
"I shortly lost my consciousness and when I woke up later, I was in the hospital," she said.
Fire fighters found no further deaths or injuries after combing the scene five times.
An injured child receives treatment at a hospital in Tonghua city, Northeast China's Jilin province, May 1, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]
Further investigation is underway.
Zong Xiangxin, chief operating officer of Home Inns has arrived at the site of the accident to deal with the aftermath, the company said in a statement.
"We feel very sad for the accident," the statement said.
An internal investigation showed the fire did not start from the hotel, the statement said, adding the company will actively assist local authorities in conducting further investigations.
Home Inns, which was listed in October 2006 at the Nasdaq Stock Market in the United States, said earlier it had 818 hotels by the end of 2010 and planned to open 260 to 280 more this year.
Chinese household care goods producers eye big cities, once stronghold of multinational players
The world's most wanted man was killed in a US raid in Pakistan.
Full coverage of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in London. Best wishes
Xinjiang is a mysterious land of extremes that never falls to fascinate.