16 dead after fire tears through market in Shenzhen, China

Firefighters search for survivors at a farm produce wholesale market after a fire on Wednesday in Shenzhen, China.

Story highlights

  • The fire at a wholesale farm produce market burned more than 1,000 square meters
  • About 145 firefighters battled to extinguish the blaze, which began early Wednesday
  • They are still searching for survivors in the debris, Chinese state media report

Sixteen people have been killed and five others injured in a fire early Wednesday at a market in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, the local government said.

About 145 firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze, which charred an area of more than 1,000 square meters (10,800 square feet), the local government said in a post on Weibo, a Twitter-like service in China.

The blaze started around 1 a.m. Wednesday, the state news agency Xinhua reported. Later in the morning, firefighters were still clearing away the embers and searching for survivors in the debris, the agency said.

There was no immediate mention of the cause of the fire.

The Rongjian Farmers' Market is a venue for farm produce wholesalers in Gongming New District of Shenzhen, according to Xinhua.