Xi orders steps to stop repeated accidents after fire kills 39

By XU WEI and ZHAO RUINAN (Chinadaily.com.cn) 08:18, January 25, 2024

This photo taken on Jan 24, 2024 shows the exterior view of the building where a fire broke out in Xinyu city, east China's Jiangxi Province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Fire: Case-by-case treatment provided

President Xi Jinping called for resolute steps on Wednesday to curb the repeated occurrence of accidents to ensure the safety of people's lives and property as well as social stability.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the instruction after an afternoon fire at a street shop in Xinyu, Jiangxi province, on Wednesday killed at least 39 people and left nine injured. The injured were taken to hospitals, where eight were reported in stable condition, and one in critical condition.

The fire broke out at 3:24 pm on Wednesday in the basement of a street shop on Tiangongnan Road, Yushui district, the local Emergency Management Department said in a statement.

The president urged all-out efforts to treat those injured in the accident, saying that meticulous efforts must be made to help families of the victims.

He stressed that the fire was another major workplace safety accident, and the cause of the deadly incident must be investigated as soon as possible.

Those who are found responsible must be held accountable in accordance with the law, and authorities must conduct profound reflection, he added.

He emphasized that all regions and relevant departments should learn serious lessons from the incident and overcome any complacency or the mentality to take chances and risks.

Authorities must assume their due responsibilities to ensure work safety, actively identify potential risks and ensure that all due measures are put in place, and guarantee the safety of people's lives and property as well as the overall stability of society, he added.

Premier Li Qiang said in an instruction that maximum efforts must be made to keep the number of casualties low, and sound arrangements must be made to comfort families of the victims.

The Work Safety Committee of the State Council must urge authorities in various regions and departments to beef up efforts to identify and rectify safety hazards in key areas and weak links, leaving no blind spots, he added.

Vice-Premier Zhang Guoqing has led a team of officials to the scene of the fire in order to oversee the rescue efforts and investigation.

Videos circulating on social media showed thick, dark smoke billowing from the building and firetrucks and ambulances at the scene of the accident.

The building where the fire broke out housed internet cafes and training institutions, China Central Television reported.

Top medical experts specializing in respiratory, critical care and burn treatment have been deployed to provide guidance and support.

Late on Wednesday, experts conducted remote, case by case consultations with the hospitals treating the injured. Together with local medical staff, they assessed the injuries, offered psychological counseling for the injured, and formulated treatment plans tailored to each individual, the National Health Commission said.

The Ministry of Emergency Management said 102 firefighters and 17 fire and rescue vehicles had been rushed to the scene.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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