Hospital fire in China claims at least 38 lives

December 16, 2005 05:08

Patients leapt from the windows of a four-story hospital in northeastern China to escape a fire that killed at least 38 people, the government said Friday. Thousands of local residents watched helplessly as patients jumped from windows on the third and fourth floors after rescuers tried but failed to reach them, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The fire broke out Thursday at the largest hospital in Liaoyuan, about 120 kilometers southwest of Changchun, the capital of Jilin province, witnesses said. An initial investigation showed the fire started in a power distribution room, Xinhua said. The remains of 24 people were found at the scene and 14 others died after being transferred to other hospitals, Xinhua said.

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