BEIJING (AFP) - At least 10 people were killed in a huge fire at a hotel in eastern China, the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday (Feb 25).
The blaze broke out at the four-storey HNA Platinum Mix Hotel Saturday morning in Nanchang, the capital of Jiangxi province, and took nearly two hours to extinguish, Xinhua said.
Over 260 residents of a 24-storey apartment building connected to the hotel were evacuated.
Video footage of the scene showed thick black smoke billowing out the windows of the building before rising in a towering plume.
Photos showed firefighters shooting jets of water at smoking, cracked wall panels, and working in a team to lift a shirtless, unconscious victim from the wreckage.
Three of 16 people rushed to hospitals died while in care, and firefighters found seven bodies amid the hotel debris.
The fire was caused by the "cutting of decoration materials", Xinhua cited initial investigations as saying, without providing further detail. Seven people have been taken into police custody.
Fire safety procedures are routinely ignored in China, with exit doors often locked and escape passages blocked in buildings across the country.
Earlier this month, 18 people were killed when a foot massage parlour caught fire in the eastern province of Zhejiang.
Seven died in a fire in an elderly care facility last month.