Shop fire in China’s Jiangxi province kills 39, traps others

BEIJING (Reuters) -A fire at a street shop in Xinyu City of Jiangxi Province has killed 39 people and injured nine, Chinese state media and the local government said on Wednesday, adding that some people were still trapped.

The fire broke out in the afternoon in an underground floor of the shop on Tiangongnan Avenue in the Yushui district, said the local fire response emergency headquarters, according to the China Daily media outlet.

The injured were taken to hospital, a government statement said, without disclosing how many.

Thick, black smoke could be seen spewing from shops on the street level and engulfing surrounding buildings in video footage on social media platform Weibo.

According to state broadcaster CCTV News, there was an Internet cafe located below ground level and a training institution upstairs in the building where the fire broke out.

After the latest deadly fire in the country, China’s President Xi Jinping demanded that all efforts be made to curb accidents and ensure people’s safety, according to Xinhua News.

China has had several fires over the past year and just last week, a school dormitory fire killed 13 students in Central China’s Henan province. Seven staff members were taken into police custody over that incident.

(Reporting by Liz Lee, Bernard Orr and Beijing newsroom; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Bernadette Baum)