Beijing, Apr 19 (EFE).- Beijing’s authorities have set up a special commission to seek accountability and investigate the causes of a fire at a city hospital that has claimed 29 lives so far, state media reported Wednesday.
In a press briefing on Wednesday, officials of Beijing’s municipal government and the Fengtai authorities said that all districts in the city have been ordered to carry out large-scale inspections of hospitals, elderly care institutions, high-rise buildings and underground spaces, among others, to ensure the implementation of fire safety responsibilities, rectify fire safety hazards and safeguard people’s lives and property, Beijing Daily reported.
The officials said that a total of 142 patients, medical staff and family members were evacuated due to the fire.
Out of the 71 people injured and taken to other hospitals in the capital, 39 people remained hospitalized, 3 had been discharged and 29 had died by 6 am on Wednesday, they added.
Twelve people have been arrested so far, including the president of Beijing Changfeng Hospital, the vice president, the director of the general affairs department, the person in charge of the construction company and a construction worker, officials said.
Preliminary investigations indicate that the accident was caused by sparks generated during the internal renovation and construction of the hospital’s inpatient department, which ignited the flammable paint on the site. The details are still being probed.
The fire broke out at 12:57 pm the previous day at the Beijing Changfeng hospital, located in the southwest Fengtai district.
Just half an hour later, at 1:33 pm, firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze, although the rescue operation took another two hours.
According to Beijing Business Today, the Beijing Changfeng Hospital is a private medical center established in 1985.
It specializes in the treatment of vascular diseases. EFE