Residential building fire claims 15 lives and leaves 44 injured in Nanjing’s Yuhuatai District

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24th February 2024 – (Nanjing) Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu Province in China, was struck by a devastating fire in the early hours of Friday (23rd), which tragically claimed the lives of 15 individuals. By Saturday (24th), the death toll had risen, and the number of injured stood at 44. Preliminary investigations by the fire department suggest that the fire originated in the ground-level elevated bicycle parking area of the building under scrutiny, though the exact cause is still under investigation.

In the wake of this horrific incident, Nanjing’s Mayor, Chen Zhichang, took the initiative to address the media in the early hours of Saturday, expressing deep remorse and offering his sincere apologies. He conveyed his heartfelt condolences for the loss of lives and expressed a profound sense of guilt.

According to the municipal government of Nanjing, the fire was reported to the fire department at 4:39 a.m. on Friday in Ming Shang Xi Yuan Building 6, located in the Yuhuatai District. The flames were successfully extinguished around 6 a.m. the same day, and the search and rescue operations concluded by 2pm. Among the injured, two individuals sustained severe injuries, while the rest were in relatively stable condition. The mild injuries primarily resulted from smoke inhalation, necessitating hospitalization to prevent infections. The medical staff has also arranged for specialized psychological counselling for those affected.

Following the incident, an emergency command centre for fire response was established by the municipal government to focus on extinguishing the fire, rescuing trapped individuals, providing medical care to the wounded, and offering support to affected families. A total of 516 residents were relocated to five hotels. The Jiangsu provincial government has formed an investigative team to thoroughly examine the cause and responsibility behind the fire, with strict accountability measures in place for those found to be negligent.