Police detain 18 in Beijing after blaze that killed 19

Fire may have started in basement, where a refrigeration facility was being built

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 November, 2017, 10:36am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 November, 2017, 10:36am

Beijing police have detained 18 people following a fire that killed 19 people and injured another eight on Saturday night, the state news agency Xinhua reported late on Monday.

The fire took place in a three-storey block of flats in Beijing’s southern Daxing district. A large refrigeration facility had been under construction in the building’s basement, and preliminary investigations suggested the fire might have started there, the report said.

19 killed as fire sweeps through Beijing accommodation block

Seven managers at the block of flats had been detained, along with seven electricity workers and four construction workers, Xinhua reported, adding that police said none of the workers were properly qualified.

In the wake of the fire, Beijing Communist Party chief Cai Qi ordered a 40-day, citywide safety check.

The official China Daily newspaper said it would cover warehouses, factories, wholesale markets, large residential areas and public places such as supermarkets and tourist spots.