Atleast 18 martial arts students have been reported to have died and 16 others sustained varying degrees of injuries when a fire broke out at a martial arts studio in Henan province in central region of China.
Of the 16 injured students, that were reported to have been rescued from the martial arts school by emergency rescue officials, four students were reported to have been transferred to another hospital after their condition became critical.
It was learnt that most of the victims were boarding students between the ages of 7 and 16, even as sources claimed that there were about 34 students at the school when the fire broke out on Friday.
The cause of the fire, which was said to have broken out in Zhecheng County in Henan Province, was still unclear, but the Chinese Police has arrested and detained the school owner for questioning and to ascertain what caused the fire.
As gathered, Henan was the birthplace of traditional Chinese martial arts and has remain home of the famous Shaolin Temple Kung Fu Academy that had trained many to become champions.
A fire in a high-rise apartment building in Shanghai killed at least 58 people in 2010. Investigators found poor welding work on the building caused the blaze.
One of the country’s most tragic fires occurred in 2000, when 309 people were killed by a blaze at a dance club in Luoyang on Christmas Day.