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Hubei hotel fire death toll hits 14


13:00, April 15, 2013

WUHAN, April 15 (Xinhua) -- The death toll to a central China hotel fire on Sunday has risen to 14 after one seriously injured person died in hospital, the local government said on Monday.

The fire in the five-story Yijing City Garden Hotel left 47 others injured, said the Fancheng District government of Xiangyang City, Hubei Province. Seventeen of the injured have been discharged from hospitals.

Local firefighting authorities received a report of the fire at 6:38 a.m. on Sunday and put out the blaze about two hours later.

The fire broke out in an Internet bar on the second floor of the building, while its third, fourth and fifth floors held hotel rooms, shops occupied its first floor. Sixty-six people were in hotel rooms and 25 others in the Internet bar when the fire broke out.

Witnesses said some people jumped down through windows and were seriously injured. It is thought that three people died trying to escape the flames in this way.

Rescuers said customers did not use smoke-blocking masks and electric torches during their escape. They did, however, find ropes made of sheets and curtains left in the hotel rooms.

Four people who were in the Internet bar at the time of the fire told police they smelled something burning and saw smoke at around 6 a.m. on Sunday and ran out of the bar quickly.

Police have detained three people -- the hotel's legal representative and general manager, and the bar's deputy general manager. They are hunting down the bar's legal representative.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

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