At least 15 killed in fire at apartment block in China’s Nanjing

Residential building fire is the latest in a series of blazes that have killed dozens across China.

At least 15 people were killed when a fire broke out at a residential building in Nanjing [File: STR/AFP]

At least 15 people have been killed and dozens more injured in a fire at an apartment block in eastern China’s Nanjing, local authorities have said.

The blaze in the Yuhuatai district of Nanjing appears to have started on Friday on the residential building’s first floor, where electric bikes were stored, officials said at a press conference, citing the results of a preliminary investigation.

The fire was put out by about 6am and a search and rescue operation was wrapped up at about 2pm on Friday, authorities said.

Forty-four people were sent to hospital for treatment, according to authorities, with one person in a “critical condition”.

Twenty-five fire trucks were deployed to fight the blaze, emergency services said.

Footage shared on Chinese social media sites showed a skyscraper on fire at night, with black smoke emitting from the structure.

Fires and other disasters are a common occurrence in China, where safety standards have lagged behind the country’s break-neck development.

After a fire in central China’s Xinyu that killed at least 39 people last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for “deep reflection” and greater efforts to “curb the frequent occurrence of safety accidents”.

Xi’s call came just days after 13 children were killed in another inferno at a school dormitory in central China’s Henan province.

The incident sparked outrage among social media users, who called for those responsible to be punished.

In November, 26 people were killed and dozens of people were injured after a fire broke out at the office of a coal company in northern Shanxi province.

In October, 31 people were killed in an explosion at a barbecue restaurant in the northwestern Ningxia region.

Source: News Agencies