Fire in China school dorm kills 13 boys

BEIJING (Reuters) -A fire in a central China school dormitory killed 13 students and injured another,prompting the authorities to call for screening fire risks in crowded places, state media said on Saturday.

The Friday night fire killed third graders in a boys’ dormitory of Yingcai School in Henan Province, according to China Newsweek, a weekly magazine published by China News Service. Third graders in China are usually 9 years old.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze in a village in Nanyang city, and the head of the school was taken into custody, state media reported.

China’s Ministry of Emergency Management called for screening to avoid “hidden fire risks in densely populated places”, and a work team was sent to guide rescue and follow-up work, Xinhua reported.

Yingcai is a private boarding school with a kindergarten and elementary school, said The Paper, a Shanghai government-backed news outlet. The school gives students a break every two weeks but this was not a break weekend, it said, citing local residents.

Many of Yingcai’s students are from rural areas, The Paper said.

(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Sandra Maler and William Mallard)