Hospital Fire Kills 33 in China

A fire swept through a hospital in northeastern China on Thursday, killing at least 33 people, including patients, state media said.

Witnesses were quoted by the Xinhua News Agency as saying that some people leapt from the burning hospital buildings in Jilin province. It was not immediately clear whether those who jumped were among the dead.

At least some of the victims were patients who died while being transferred to other hospitals, the news agency said.

The fire started at about 5 p.m. Thursday at the largest hospital in Liaoyuan city, about 75 miles southwest of Changchun, the capital of Jilin province, witnesses said.

Earlier Thursday, China's Ministry of Public Security said there were 222,000 accidental fires in China, resulting in more than 2,000 deaths, from January to November, Xinhua said.