26 firefighters die battling China forest fire
Photo: South China Morning Post.
At least 26 firefighters died after they were sent to tackle a forest blaze in remote mountains in southwest China’s Sichuan province at the weekend, authorities said Monday.
Hundreds of firefighters were deployed to battle the fire, which broke out on Saturday evening on steep terrain at an altitude of around 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) in Muli County, according to the ministry of emergency management. Reports AFP.
Authorities lost contact with 30 firefighters on Sunday afternoon after a sudden change in wind direction ignited a “huge fireball”, the ministry said in a statement.
Rescuers have found 26 bodies and are looking for the other missing crew.
President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang delivered instructions to respond to the emergency, the statement said.
A separate forest fire that lasted two days in the northern province of Shanxi was brought under control on Sunday, the official Xinhua news agency said.
More than 9,000 people were evacuated from their homes due to that blaze, which did not cause any casualties.