Apartment fire kills 13 in central Chinese city

BEIJING: An early morning fire killed 13 people in a seven-story apartment building in central China on Thursday, state broadcaster CCTV said.

The fire erupted on the ground level of the building in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, but did not spread far on a rainy night, China Central Television reported. It said the deaths occurred on the top floor, meaning the victims likely died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Multiple people also were hospitalized with burn injuries, the broadcaster said, and the Zhengzhou No. 1 People's Hospital on Thursday confirmed that four people were under urgent medical treatment for burn injuries.

CCTV said the cause of the fire was not known.

Many apartments in China are not properly maintained, and as well haphazard remodeling projects have left behind safety hazards such as improper wiring, bad ventilation and the removal of supporting struts.