A home for the elderly in China’s Pingdingshang in Henan province caught fire, killing 38 people, Chinese media said Tuesday.
Several people were injured and two were in a serious condition, the work safety office of Henan province said in a statement on its website.
Rescue operations were underway, according to officials in Pingdingshan, which lies some 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) southwest of Beijing. The fire swept through an apartment building, part of which was being used as a rest home for old people. The cause of the blaze was unclear.
Lax safety standards often result in fire hazards in China, where property and business owners are said to often pay off corrupt officials to overlook safeguards.
In 2013, 119 people were killed in a fire when a poultry plant went up in flames. Media reports at the time accused managers of locking workers inside to prevent them from going to the toilets. This contributed to the high death toll. Deadly fire at China nursing home