South China club fire kills at least 43,
injures 88A fire at a nightclub in the southern Chinese
city of Shenzhen has killed at least 43 people and injured
The fire broke out at 2300 (1500GMT) on Saturday, in Dance
King club in the Long Gang district of the city, which is
near the border with Hong Kong.
Nearly 1,000 people were in the club at the time.
The fire has now been extinguished, and firefighters say
they suspect it was caused by fireworks being lit on the
The Party chief of Guangdong province Wang Yang has ordered
an investigation into the reasons for the fire.
According to some Hong Kong-based reporters in Shenzhen,
the club was in a three-storey building and they say firefighters
had to break some windows in the rescue, while others had
been blocked by bricks or wooden boards.
"There was only a narrow aisle... in the hall. Many
people got hurt in the stampede," said club employee
Yang Zhi, according to Xinhua news agency.
He fled after soaking himself in water, but still suffered
burns to his neck, the agency said.
Serious fires are a common occurrence in China, where correspondents
say safety regulations are often flouted.
Among those injured, 51 people needed treatment and were
being treated in hospital. All were in stable condition,
The fire broke out at about 11 p.m. at a club, named "King
of the Dancers," in Longgang District in Shenzhen City,
when hundreds of people were watching a performance.
According to police's initial investigation, the fire was
triggered by fireworks ignited during the performance on
the third floor of the club.
There was only a narrow aisle, about 10 meters long, in
the hall. Many people got hurt in stampede, said Yang Zhi,
a club staff member who survived the fire.
"I saw people rushing out at about 11 p.m. and all
light were off." Yang wetted his clothes and followed
the others. He got burns on the neck.
The fire was extinguished at the night. Most of the injured
were the audience, police said.
The province has set up a special working team for the
case. An investigation has begun.