18 people die in fire at massage parlour in eastern China

Blaze breaks out on second floor of building in Tiantai county in Zhejiang province, state media reports

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 February, 2017, 11:32pm
UPDATED : Monday, 06 February, 2017, 6:47pm

A fire at a foot massage parlour in Zhejiang in eastern China left 18 people dead and 18 others injured, state media reported.

The fire broke out in the parlour, which was located on the first and second floors of a six-storey building in Tiantai county at 5.30pm on Sunday, according to the local government.

People were seen jumping from the windows. Eight people died at the scene, and 10 others after being rushed to hospital, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Xinhua reported that the fire was extinguished at about 7pm.

The government said it was still trying to determine what started the blaze. Early reports from CCTV and The Beijing News said an explosion in the floor heating system in the sauna rooms might be the cause.

The parlour, which has been operating for more than 10 years, was popular in the area, but some equipment were outdated, according to a report in the Hangzhou-based Qianjiang Evening News.

Deadly fires are not uncommon in China, where safety regulations are lax and fire exits often blocked.

Additional reporting by Reuters