At least 12 people linked to the home for the elderly in central China where 38 people were killed and six injured earlier this week in a fire have been taken into custody by local police, state media reported Wednesday. The incident took place at the privately run Kangleyuan Rest Home, about 500 miles south of capital Beijing, in the city of Pingdingshan in Henan province.
The detainees include the facility's legal representative and the police are searching for three other employees in connection with the case, the Associated Press (AP) reported, citing the official Xinhua News Agency.
A fire broke out in the facility, which housed 51 residents, late Monday night, and photos of the incident released by Xinhua showed that several sections of the house were completely burned. It was not clear how the fire started.
"I was in my bed at the time. Suddenly, I saw a worker run out of a room on fire and he shouted 'Run! Run!' to me, so I dashed out," Guo Xin, 78, reportedly told Xinhua.
Zhao Yulan, 82, another survivor, reportedly said that only two of the 11 people living in her room survived the fire. Xinhua reported that some of the bodies were severely burnt, making their identification difficult.
Premier Li Keqiang called on officials across the country to "draw lessons from the accident, checking all potential safety hazards to avoid similar incidents," the AP reported Wednesday, citing Xinhua.
Following Monday’s deadly incident, fire officials reportedly ordered inspections of nursing homes, kindergartens, child-care facilities and hospitals across the country.