Thirteen lives have been tragically lost, and another individual sustained injuries in a devastating fire that engulfed the Yingcai School’s dormitory in Yanshanpu village, located in central China’s Henan province. The distressing incident unfolded on Friday night, prompting a swift response from local authorities and emergency responders.
The fire, which was reported to the fire department at 11 p.m. (1500 GMT), claimed the lives of thirteen individuals, while one survivor is currently receiving treatment and is in stable condition, as reported by the official Xinhua news agency. Rescuers acted promptly, managing to extinguish the flames by 11:38 p.m.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, with local authorities taking swift action, including the detention of at least one individual associated with the school, according to Xinhua.
Yanshanpu village, situated on the outskirts of the densely populated city of Nanyang, is now grappling with the aftermath of this tragedy. Although limited information is available about the boarding school, social media videos have surfaced, revealing young children, including kindergarteners, adorned in smocks bearing the school’s logo, and older students engaged in calligraphy lessons.
While Xinhua did not specify the number of children among the deceased, the incident has sparked outrage on Chinese social media platforms. Users are expressing their concerns and calling for stringent measures to address any safety lapses that may have contributed to this heartbreaking event.
This unfortunate incident adds to a concerning trend of fires and deadly accidents in China, often attributed to lax safety standards and insufficient enforcement. The public outcry follows previous incidents, including a deadly fire at a coal company office in Shanxi province and a tragic gym roof collapse in the country’s northeast.
The need for enhanced safety measures has been emphasized at the highest levels of government, with President Xi Jinping urging comprehensive investigations into hidden risks in key industries and improvements in emergency plans and prevention measures.
As the nation mourns the loss of these thirteen lives, there is a growing call for accountability and a renewed commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of citizens across the country.