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13 dead after Chinese internet café blaze spreads to hotel


A fire at an internet café spread to a hotel on the upper floors of a building in central China, killing 13 people and injuring 50 others.

Some of the hotel guests escaped and firefighters rescued others from the building in Xiangyang city in Hubei province.

The fire started just after 6:30am yesterday and was extinguished before 9am, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

It said 42 of the hotel's 50 rooms were occupied.

Two Xiangyang firefighters said the fire started in an internet café on the floor below the hotel in a five-storey building.

One of the firefighters said the café was on the second floor and the hotel three floors above. He said the cause of the fire was being investigated.

Footage shown on the state-run China News Service showed smoke billowing out of the hotel's windows as firefighters sprayed water at the building and one climbed up a rope.

A man and a woman were shown awaiting rescue at one window, the man covering his mouth with a cloth. A woman climbed down a ladder, helped by firefighters. Inside the hotel, bedding was blackened, as was a corridor filled with burned debris.