At Least 21 Dead Following Beijing Hospital Fire

People attempt to escape the fire at the hospital

At least 21 people are dead following a fire at a hospital in Beijing, Chinese state media has reported.

As black smoke billowed into the sky late on Tuesday, individuals trapped in the multi-storey building apparently strung bedsheets into homemade ropes and fled by climbing out windows, according to social media videos.

Others hid under air conditioning units outside the building.

CGTN and other media claimed that 71 patients were saved from the fire in Beijing Changfeng hospital’s east wing inpatient department.

On Wednesday, authorities stopped hospital access and announced an inquiry.

WeChat posts regarding the incident were restricted or deleted after a few hours.

A February WeChat post criticized the hospital for bragging about its fire preparedness.

The number of patients killed and injured was unknown until early Wednesday.