17 Chinese dead in two fires

Beijing, April 15 (IANS) At least 17 Chinese people have died in two fire incidents — 13 in a hotel in central China’s Hubei province and four in a factory in Russia’s far east, officials said.

In Hubei, the fire broke out in a hotel in Fancheng district, Xinhua reported.

About 50 injured have been sent to hospitals for treatment. Some are in serious condition.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, police said.

Meanwhile, four Chinese workers were killed and five others injured Sunday in a fire that engulfed a wood factory in Russia’s far eastern city of Zima.

The fire broke out in a makeshift wooden shelter of the China-Russia joint venture, which housed 33 Chinese workers.

The blaze spread to an area of 300 square metres, Chinese Consul General in Irkutsk Guo Zhijun said.

Preliminary investigation showed the fire was triggered by an electrical fault.

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