Xi calls for all-out efforts to aid injured
Fire at coal company building kills 26, more than 60 others sent to hospital
President Xi Jinping on Thursday ordered all-out efforts to rescue the injured after a fire erupted in a coal company building in Lyuliang, Shanxi province, killing 26 people and injuring dozens of others.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said that work must be done to console the bereaved families, find out the cause of the fire at an early date and hold accountable those responsible.
The fire ripped through the second floor of a five-story building belonging to the private Yongju coal mine company in Lyuliang on Thursday morning. More than 60 people have been sent to hospital for treatment, according to local authorities.
Xi, who is currently on an overseas visit, stressed that local governments and related departments must learn profound lessons from this accident and be keenly aware of the importance of safety issues as the bottom line in pursuit of development.
He asked authorities to take targeted measures to identify and address hidden risks in key industries and sectors prone to fire accidents during the winter season and refine their emergency plans and preventive measures accordingly.
Noting that the responsibilities of all parties involved should be clarified, Xi said major accidents must be resolutely prevented in order to safeguard people's lives and property as well as social stability.
Premier Li Qiang also urged prompt efforts to search for and rescue the missing, and treat the injured to minimize casualties.
Li called for efforts to identify the cause of the accident, punish those responsible in accordance with laws and regulations, and intensify safety checks in key industries to avoid further major accidents.
A senior official with the State Council in charge of emergency response has led a work group consisting of officials from relevant departments to the site to oversee search and rescue operations.
While the on-site rescue operation ended at 1:45 pm on Thursday, medical treatment and investigation into the cause of the accident are still underway.
On Thursday night, emergency management authorities of Lyuliang's Lishi district, where the fire took place, ordered all mining enterprises in the district to suspend their production to conduct an inspection on potential fire hazards.
Xinhua contributed to this story.