Eighteen people have died and another 16 injured in a fire that broke out in a martial arts school in central China, with most of the victims believe to be children and teenagers.
According to a short statement from the local authorities, the fire erupted Friday morning at the school in Henan province’s Shangqiu city and has since been extinguished.
Several of the injured were in serious condition, the authorities said, without commenting on the cause of the fire or the age of the victims.
Chinese media initially reported that children between the ages seven and 16 had slept over at the Zhenxing Martial Arts School when the fire broke out.
The reports said 34 students were registered with the school.
A witness was quoted as saying “he heard the screams and cries of children’’.
Most of the reports have since been censored and deleted from the internet, however. (dpa/NAN)