About 20 people were killed and 23 people injured in a fire at a resort hotel in China’s northeastern city of Harbin early on Saturday, the local government said, Local media reported.
According to an official report on the government’s social media account, the fire broke out at 4:36 am at North Loong Hotel in Harbin’s Sun Island resort area. It was put out in about three hours.
By 11:30 am, the government said, firefighters had searched the site thoroughly, with 24 injured people having been taken to the hospital, of whom one later died.
The cause of the fire was under investigation, the government said. The provincial fire department said in an official post that the fire had started from the kitchen on the second floor, but gave no further details.
The fire spread to cover about 400 square meters of the four-story brick-and-concrete block, partially burning the second, third and fourth floors, according to a report from state-run China Central Television.
Its footage from the site also showed that the hotel’s main hall had burned down.
The disaster added to a string of deadly blazes that have plagued China despite official efforts to improve public safety over the past two decades.
The ruling Communist Party has tried to improve fire safety following fatal accidents at hotels, shopping malls, and apartment buildings. But the country still suffers major fires.