Beijing, Feb 6 – A shopping mall inferno killed 17 people in China, authorities said Friday, the latest deadly accident in a country where safety standards are often flouted.
The fire broke out Thursday on the top floor of a four-storey building in Huidong county in the southern province of Guangdong, the local government said.
Rescue efforts took 18 hours and 17 people died, the Huidong government said on its verified account on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo.
A total of 270 firefighters and 45 fire engines were mobilised to extinguish the blaze, it added.
Nine managers of the mall, which contains an indoor market, a cinema and restaurants, have been detained by police and the cause of the accident was under investigation, said the statement.
The fire broke out in a warehouse facility, reports said.
China has a dismal industrial safety record as some property and business owners evade regulations to save money and pay off corrupt officials to look the other way.
A fire at a poultry plant in the northeast of the country killed 119 people in 2013.
Reports at the time said that managers had locked doors inside the factory to prevent workers from going to the toilet, leading to the high death toll.