18 people killed in a hotel fire in Harbin, China

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The fire broke out at the Beilong Hot Spring Hotel in Harbin’s Sun Island resort area, a brick-and-concrete building. Other 19 were injured. The fire in the four-storey building began at 4:36 a.m. (2036 GMT Friday), burning an area of about 400 square meters before being extinguished after about three hours. More than 100 firefighters with 30 fire trucks were at the scene, state television reported. 70 people were evacuated. Individuals in Harbin were advised to avoid the area of the incident and obey all instructions issued by the local authorities.

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The cause of the blaze was under investigation. The country still suffers major fires despite official efforts to improve public safety over the past two decades. China has a patchy record for building safety regulations.Harbin is the capital of Heilongjiang province, and largest city in the northeastern region of China.It serves as a key political, economic, scientific, cultural, and communications hub in Northeast China, as well as an important industrial base of the nation. Harbin is notable for its beautiful ice sculpture festival in the winter.

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