Beijing hospital fire kills dozens
A fire at a private hospital in Beijing on Wednesday 19 April has killed 29 people and wounded many more
The fire, at the Changfeng Hospital in the city’s Fengtai district, killed 26 patients as of Wednesday morning, as well as three others, and has left 39 people hospitalised.
Videos on social media of the incident show people attempting to climb down the walls of the building to escape the flames, using tied bedsheets as ropes, and standing on air conditioning units fixed to the exterior.
The fire primarily affected a ward for critically ill patients. It was put out in approximately half an hour according to official reports, but remains one of the deadliest fires to have occurred in the city in recent decades.
According to Reuters, initial investigations into the cause of the incident suggest that the fire started in a ward which was under renovation, through the ignition of ‘inflammable painting material’.
China began issuing visas to foreign tourists for the first time in three years in March 2023, after closing its borders with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.