Xinjiang fire at apartment on lockdown kills 10, injures 9

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Nov. 25 (UPI) — A fire broke out in an apartment complex in Xinjiang, China on Thursday evening where many residents had been quarantined, killing 10 people and injuring nine others.

Chinese officials said the fire started on the 15th floor of the complex in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang and was blamed on a faulty power strip in a bedroom. The fire engulfed two floors of the complex.

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The fire and death sparked questions on the Chinese social media site about the impact of lockdowns and how it impacted rescue efforts.

Many of the 25 million people in the Xinjiang region have been under some kind of quarantine and lockdowns for more than three months in an effort to stop the latest spread of the COVID-19 virus.

In Urumqi, residents have faced a lockdown since Aug. 10, one of China’s longest and toughest COVID-19 residential restrictions. Last week, the city updated its controls that allowed residents in districts that have reported no cases for five days in a row to leave home in an “orderly and controlled” manner.

China’s State Council had announced a series of adjustments to COVID-19, including a relaxation to lockdowns. Since then, China’s daily infection numbers increased to record highs.

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The country’s National Health Commission reported more than 32,695 local infections on Friday morning, including 29,654 without symptoms.