Horrific fire kills 18, mostly children, in early morning blaze at Chinese martial arts center, manager arrested

A fire has torn through a martial arts training center in Henan province, China, killing 18 and injuring 16 according to a local government statement. The fire has been extinguished but many require care in the hospital.

According to local media, most of the 18 fatalities were children, aged between 7 and 16 and who were also residents at the martial arts center where the fire broke out at around 3am on Friday morning (1900 GMT Thursday). Zhonghong, a state-backed news agency, identified the center as Zhenxing Martial Arts Centre. 

The fire, which was later extinguished, broke out in Zhecheng county, Henan province. The local government said on its website that 16 were injured and that four were in serious condition.

In a now-deleted post, Beijing Youth Daily said that the 7 to 16-year-old martial arts students were staying on the center’s second floor. An unnamed doctor at the hospital told reporters that they were doing everything to save the injured. 

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The center’s manager has been arrested according to the government’s statement, although there is no information as to how the fire broke out.

Several parents spoke to Reuters, saying they knew very little about their children’s welfare. “My kid is 9 years old, but I know nothing about his current situation. We can’t see him or visit him,” said Zheng, the father of one of the children admitted to the hospital. “All information is being blocked,” another parent said in a text message.

There were 34 boarding students staying at the center, according to local government staff quoted by Beijing Toutiao News.

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Source:RT World News

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