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Fire at China martial arts centre kills 18, mostly children

At least 18 people, mostly children, were killed and 16 others injured when a deadly fire ripped through a boarding martial arts school in China’s Henan province in the early hours of Friday.

The children, aged between seven and 16, were asleep on the first floor when the blaze broke out at the Zhenxing Martial Arts Centre.

A total of 34 students were enrolled at the boarding school in Shuangqiu city’s Zhecheng county.

The fire had been extinguished and authorities were investigating the cause of the blaze, the statement from Zhecheng county government said.

The manager of the centre in rural Zhecheng county, Henan province, was arrested by police, the statement said.

The injured, four of whom had severe injuries, were rushed to a local hospital, where an unnamed doctor told local media they were “doing everything they could” to save them.

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