18 die in China massage parlour fire; managers arrested

The fire breaks out on second floor of building in Tiantai county in Zhejiang province.

Fire in China foot massage parlour kills at least 18
Representational Image Reuters

At least 18 people died and another 18 were injured in a fire at a foot massage parlour in China on Sunday, the state media and police said. The fire broke out around 5 pm on the second floor of a building in Tiantai County in Zhejiang province, the official Xinhua news agency said. The firefighters extinguished the fire in less than two hours. Local media said police have arrested managers at the massage parlour.

A video posted on Chinese social media website Weibo showed people jumping out of the second-floor window of the six-storey building as the thick black smoke billowed from the massage parlour. Xinhua said eight people died at the scene, while 10 others passed away after being rushed to hospital. According to the authorities, the cause of the fire is still unclear.

Deadly fires are quite common in China as safety regulations are not maintained and fire exits are often blocked. Last month, a fire broke out at a private nursing home in China killing seven people.

In 2015, another similar incident occurred at an oldage home in Henan province that killed 38 people. The incident created a stir regarding China's growing population of old people and whether they were getting proper care.

President Xi Jinping had called on the authorities to take immediate steps to ensure accidents do not happen, but still the country continues to witness such mishaps.