Martial Arts School Fire

Eighteen people were killed as a fire tore through a martial arts training center early Friday morning in Henan Province, China. Sixteen others were injured and taken to a local hospital, four of them listed in serious condition. Though the name of the academy was originally withheld, it was subsequently identified as the Zhenxing Martial Arts Center in Shangqiu City. A report, originally posted by the Beijing Youth Daily, said the center served as a boarding school for students age 7-16 but has since been removed from their website.

The fire was extinguished and the person in charge of the academy was taken into custody by the authorities, though the cause of the blaze remains unclear. Such fires are not uncommon in China where safety regulations are often lacking or not enforced with construction sometimes viewed as sub-standard.

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