Official apologizes for hospital fire killing 39
By He Na (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-17 07:09
Zhao Zhenqi, secretary of Liaoyuan city committee of the Communist Party of
China (CPC) in northeast China's Jilin Province, made an apology on Saturday to
local people for the hospital fire accident that occurred Thursday afternoon.
"As a principal leader in the city, I felt deep regret for the fatal hospital
fire. I failed to exert myself to the utmost, I apologize to all people in the
city for the accident," he said.
"The city should draw lessons from the accident and launch a campaign to
check up hidden danger in all enterprises and departments such as coal mines and
hospitals," he added.
The mishap took place around 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the Liaoyuan Central
Hospital, the largest hospital in the city, about 120 km. southwest of
Changchun, capital of Jilin Province, leaving 39 people dead so far.
death toll from a hospital fire rose to 39 on Friday.
Twenty-four bodies were found at the scene, and 15 people died after being
transferred to other hospitals after the fire engulfed Liaoyuan Central Hospital
late on Thursday. Liaoyuan is 120 kilometres southwest of the provincial capital
A huge fire engulfs
Liaoyuan Central Hospital in Northeast China's Jilin Province December 15,
2005, killing at least 39 people. At least 33 of the victims were
Many jumped from windows or climbed down using bed sheets tied together to
escape from the blaze, which could be viewed up to 10 kilometres away, witnesses
"We had a blackout soon after the fire broke out," said 42-year-old Dong
Xiujuan, who jumped from the third floor and broke both legs and her waist.
"I became so desperate in the darkness as the corridors and rooms filled up
with smoke," she sobbed, saying that her 73-year-old father, who was undergoing
treatment at the hospital, was still missing. Her mother and sisters searched
all hospitals that received transferred patients but to no avail.
"Two patients in the room, including my father, were too sick to jump from
the windows," she recalled.
Nurse Chen Yanni said she helped 10 people escape using knowledge learnt from
television. "I told the patients to cover their mouths with a wet towel and to
climb down the window using bed sheets tied together," she said.
Xia Yong, a doctor with the hospital, told China Daily that most of those who
jumped from the third or fourth floor either died or suffered bone fractures.
But a 15-day-old baby boy was safe after being thrown from the window and
caught by his father on the ground.
Local rescue headquarters confirmed on Friday evening that 182 people were
receiving medical treatment at seven other hospitals in the city, including 95
patients, 74 relatives, 11 hospital staff and two firefighters. Twenty-eight
were in critical condition.