Picture used for illustrative purposes only.
A fire tore through a martial arts training centre in China on Friday killing 18 and 16 injured, according to the local government. State media outlet saying most of the victims were children who were staying there.
The fire had been extinguished and authorities were investigating the cause of the blaze, a statement from Zhecheng county government said.
There were 34 boarding students on the premises when the fire broke out, according to government staff quoted by Beijing Toutiao News.
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It was unclear what caused the fire, which injured 16 people, four of whom were in serious condition, the county government said.
Police detained the person in charge of the centre, the county said. It did not identify the person or the training centre.
Those hurt — four of whom had severe injuries -- were rushed to a local hospital, where an unnamed doctor told local media they were "doing everything they could" to save them, according to AFP.
The unnamed manager of the centre in Henan province was arrested, the statement said.
The cause of the fire was still unclear.
An official confirmed to AFP that the school was the Zhenxing Martial Arts Centre.
Local media reports described it as a "comprehensive martial arts training institution" that aimed to "strengthen the body through morality and martial arts".
An online listing for the school advertised hour-long classes each day for a range of martial arts disciplines and said the school "recruits boarding students year-round", but offered no further details.
Provincial party chief Lou Yangsheng told local media that the blaze was a "profound lesson".
State television footage showed large flames shooting into the sky from the mountains above the city of Xichang in Sichuan province, turning the sky orange. Heavy clouds of smoke billowed above the buildings and roads of the city, which has a population of some 700,000 people.
The fire broke out in a single-story wooden building rented by an unnamed Chinese company and used as a dormitory for the sawmill workers, local authorities said. Firefighters battled the blaze for more than two hours.
The blaze was put out at 2:30am and an investigation into the cause is underway. All the injured were treated at the hospital and believed to be in stable condition.
Two other people were injured, the local government in part of Anyang city said in a statement on Tuesday. The fire was reported about 4:30pm on Monday and took firefighters about 3 1/2 hours to bring under control, the Wenfang district government said.
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