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Rest Home Fire in Central China Kills 38

  • Associated Press

Firefighters clean up the debris after a fire at a rehabilitation center for the elderly in Sanlihe village of Pingdingshan, Henan province, China, May 26, 2015.

Firefighters clean up the debris after a fire at a rehabilitation center for the elderly in Sanlihe village of Pingdingshan, Henan province, China, May 26, 2015.

A fire that swept through a rest home in central China killed 38 people and injured six, Chinese authorities said Tuesday.

The fire broke out Monday night in an apartment building being used as a privately run rest home in the city of Pingdingshan in Henan province, according to a statement from the province's work safety administration.

Two of the injured were in serious condition, the statement said. The official Xinhua News Agency reported that a rescue operation was still underway Tuesday morning and the cause of the fire was unclear.

With a rapidly aging population and under-resourced social security net, China faces increasing pressure to provide safe and affordable care for the elderly.

In 2013, a disgruntled resident set fire to a rest home, killing himself and 10 others, in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang.

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