Children Among 18 Dead in Fire at Martial Arts School

Chinese authorities say person in charge of school has been arrested
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 25, 2021 12:03 AM CDT
Fire Kills 18 at China Martial Arts School
Emergency vehicles at the scene in Shanqiu, China.   (YouTube)

A fire swept through a martial arts school in central China early Friday, killing 18 people and injuring 16, authorities said. Most of the victims are believed be children who were staying at the school, Reuters reports. The county government says the person in charge of the Zhenxing Martial Arts Center in Shangqiu, Henan province has been arrested, reports the BBC. Four people were severely injured and 12 have light injuries, according to a short statement from authorities. Parents say they have been given very little information.

"My kid is 9 years old, but I know nothing about his current situation. We can't see him or visit him," the father of one of the hospitalized children tells Reuters. "At Zhenxing, the kids would study and practice martial arts in the day and live there every night," the father says. The Beijing Youth Daily reported that all the students who boarded at the school were between ages 7 to 16. The article was republished by news and web search portals in China but had been deleted by noon, a common practice on matters Chinese authorities deem sensitive, the AP reports.

(More China stories.)

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