Death toll rises to 53 in Shanghai high-rise fire
The death toll rose to 53 Tuesday after a fire ripped through a 28-storey apartment building in China's largest commercial city, state media said.
The fire broke out mid-afternoon Monday on scaffolding outside the building in Shanghai's Jing'an district and spread quickly to most of the interior, dpa reported.
Hospitals were treating more than 70 injured people Tuesday after 25 firefighting teams using 61 fire engines had rescued more than 100 people, reports said.
Most of the 180 households registered in the late-1990s building were teachers and their families, including many retired teachers.
Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu Tuesday called for a "thorough investigation" of the cause of the fire, which was extinguished by early Monday evening.
People found responsible for the fire would be "punished in accordance with law," Meng was quoted as saying.
Scaffolding and plastic sheeting covered much of the outside of the building and two identical buildings next to it.
Some reports said workers had been treating the outside of the building with insulating material designed to improve heat retention.
One witness told the official Xinhua news agency he saw "construction materials" catch fire before flames spread to the scaffold.