At least 17 people are burned alive as inferno rips through restaurant during busy lunchtime service in China

  • Fire started at about 12.40pm local time in restaurant lunch hour in Changchun
  • The blaze killed 17 and injured three, who were taken to hospital for treatment
  • Images from video footage show smoke and flames cascading from the building
  • The restaurant inferno was extinguished by around 3pm by fire crews  

At least 17 people were burned alive after an inferno ripped through a restaurant during busy lunchtime service in China. 

It started at about 12.40pm local time in the Hongyu Xiaoyoubing People’s Restaurant in Changchun, the capital of Jilin province.

According to China’s state television channel CCTV, customers were inside the eatery during lunch hour when the fire began.

Three people were injured and taken to hospital for treatment and the charred remains of 17 people were removed from the dilapidated building. 

Images show smoke and flames cascading out of the building. The blaze was extinguished by around 3pm by fire crews.

The cause of the fire was under investigation. 

It happened in Changchun New Area industrial zone, which is a car manufacturing centre, according to a social media post by its management committee.

At least 17 people were burned alive after an inferno ripped through a restaurant during busy lunchtime service in China. It started at about 12.40pm local time in the Hongyu Xiaoyoubing People’s Restaurant in Changchun, the capital of Jilin province

The fire left three other people injured who were taken to hospital for treatment and the charred remains of 17 people were taken from the dilapidated building

Deadly fires occur frequently in China, where lax enforcement of building codes and widespread unauthorised construction can make it hard for people to flee burning buildings.

Earlier this month, a huge blaze in the central city of Changsha engulfed part of a skyscraper housing an office of state-owned telecommunications company China Telecom, but no casualties were reported.

In July last year, a warehouse fire in northeastern Jilin province killed 15 people and injured 25 more, according to state media reports.

The month before that, a fire killed 18 people – mostly children – at a martial arts school in central Henan province, causing an uproar over fire safety standards.

A further two dozen people died in a pair of blazes in Beijing’s migrant neighbourhoods in 2017, while 58 perished when a huge fire swept through a 28-storey Shanghai housing block in 2010.

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