Fire kills 39 people in Jiangxi province

Firefighters work at the site of a building fire in Xinyu City, east China's Jiangxi Province, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024. Chinese state media say at least 39 people died and nine others were injured after a fire broke out in southeastern Jiangxi province. State broadcaster CCTV reported that local authorities said that the fire broke out Wednesday afternoon. The building houses an internet cafe in the basement and tutoring centers on upper floors. Local government officials were deployed to the scene in addition to first responders.
Firefighters work at the site of a building fire in Xinyu City, east China's Jiangxi Province, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024. Chinese state media say at least 39 people died and nine others were injured after a fire broke out in southeastern Jiangxi province. State broadcaster CCTV reported that local authorities said that the fire broke out Wednesday afternoon. The building houses an internet cafe in the basement and tutoring centers on upper floors. Local government officials were deployed to the scene in addition to first responders. (Zhou Mi, Xinhua via AP)

BEIJING — A fire broke out in a commercial building in China's southeastern Jiangxi province on Wednesday, killing at least 39 people and injuring nine others, state media said.

Officials for the Yushui district of Jiangxi province said that the fire broke out in the basement of a shopping area in the afternoon. In addition to rescue workers, firefighters and police, local government officials were deployed to the scene.

A preliminary investigation found that fire was caused by unauthorized welding during construction work in the basement, local official officials said.

State broadcaster CCTV later reported that rescue operations were complete and that no people remained trapped in the building, which it said housed an internet cafe in the basement and tutoring centers on upper floors.

Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a statement about the blaze, noting that it was yet another safety tragedy. He called on the government and Communist Party to "resolutely curb the frequent occurrence of various safety accidents, and ensure the safety of people's lives and property and overall social stability."

The statement included orders for the State Council's Work Safety Committee to close any gaps in safety measures.

The local government said that the cause of the fire was under investigation.

Over the weekend, a fire in central Henan province broke out in a boarding school dormitory and killed 13 children.

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