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At least 18 dead in China hotel fire

25 August 2018, MVT 16:24
A view of a room after a fire at a hotel in Harbin, China's northeastern Heilongjiang province, on August 25, 2018. A fire early August 25 at a hotel in China has left at least 18 people dead, according to an initial death toll given by state media. / AFP PHOTO / STR /
25 August 2018, MVT 16:24

A fire early Saturday at a hotel in China has left at least 18 people dead and 19 injured, according to state media.

The blaze broke out during the night at the hotel in Harbin, capital of the northeastern Heilongjiang province, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

"By the latest count, 18 people have been found dead and 19 have been taken to hospital," the agency said, citing local authorities.

Images of the gutted hotel and spa appeared on state broadcaster CCTV, showing blackened walls, twisted metal structures and parts of the ceiling hanging precariously.

Those hospitalised had inhaled toxic smoke or suffered burns, CCTV said, adding that an investigation is underway into the cause of the fire.

Deadly fires are common in China, where fire security regulations are routinely neglected.

In April, 18 people were killed and five more injured in a fire at a karaoke establishment in the country's south.

In November, a fire left 19 people dead and eight injured at a boarding house in Beijing. And in May 2015, 38 people were found dead in a fire at a retirement home in central Henan province.

Beijing, China | AFP

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