At least 18 people were killed in a fire at a resort hotel in China’s northeastern city of Harbin early Saturday, state media and an official said.
The disaster added to a string of deadly blazes that have plagued China despite official efforts to improve public safety over the past two decades.
The fire broke out at the Beilong Hot Spring Hotel in Harbin’s Sun Island resort area, according to an employee of the city emergency office who would give only his surname, Wang.
The fire at the four-story, brick-and-concrete building started at 4:36 a.m. and was extinguished at 7:50 a.m. by a force of 105 firefighters with 30 fire trucks, state television reported. Video on its social media account showed firefighters spraying water on the smoke-blackened hotel while fire trucks and ambulances stood in the tree-lined street.