On November 24, 2022, a fire broke out in an apartment building in Urumqi, Xinjiang, killing at least ten people and injuring nine others.

The fire started around 8 p.m. on November 24. It began with a small fire on the 15th floor, then quickly spread throughout this floor and reached the 21st floor.

According to Apollo News, the mayor of Tianshan district told a press conference that the authorities had handled the incident in time. However, the damage was due to the people’s weakness in saving themselves.

The mayor said the authorities had verified that the apartment exits were open, and people could run downstairs to escape.

He added that the images shared online reflecting the locked apartment building’s exit system are untrue. Those are malicious rumors.

However, netizens have been sharing videos showing people calling for help to “open the door” during the fire and footage showing firefighters unable to enter the apartment building due to the barricades.

The entrance to the apartment complex is locked because the apartment building is located within a locked-down residential area. Local authorities locked it down under the Chinese Communist Party’s “zero-COVID” policy.

Residents also shared that people on the upper floor could not run downstairs because the pandemic prevention regulations did not allow it.

Netizens were very angry with the mayor’s statement. Apollo News cited a netizen saying this is the most absurd, shameless, cold-blooded, ignorant, and irresponsible meeting ever known.

Chinese media have reported on the fire in Xinjiang, but the comment section under the articles is locked.

In addition, censors quickly deleted some posts by Chinese netizens raising questions about the fire.

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.