China restaurant fire: As many as 17 people were killed while three others were injured in a fire that broke out in a restaurant in China's Changchun city in the northeastern region on Wednesday. The injured were taken to a hospital for treatment, according to a social media post by the zone’s management committee.
The post also stated that the fire was reported at 12:40 p.m. in a high-tech section of the Changchun New Area industrial zone. A gas explosion was initially blamed for causing the fire, according to the fire and rescue service.
Changchun is an auto manufacturing centre and the capital of Jilin province.
China, which has some of the world's most draconian anti-coronavirus restrictions, continues to suffer from deadly accidents blamed on poor design and construction, failure to observe safety requirements and insufficient inspections and enforcement.
In April, an illegally constructed block that included apartments and restaurants collapsed in the city of Changsha, killing 53 people. And in July, a gas explosion following a partial building collapse in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin left three people missing and 11 injured.
The event remains under investigation, but it appears to point to the deterioration of infrastructure following more than three decades of breakneck economic growth that has vastly boosted living standards while often skirting safety and environmental regulation.
(With inputs from PTI)