Beijing: At least 18 people were killed and 13 injured in a massive fire at a carrot-packaging plant in China's Shandong Province, authorities said on Monday.
The fire broke out at 7 pm last night at Longyuan Food Co Ltd's carrot packaging workshop in Shouguang City, one of China's major agricultural-production centres.
Fire-tenders were pressed into action and the fire was put out by around 9:30 pm, Shouguang municipal publicity officials said.
Thirteen people were being treated for injuries, two of whom were critical.
A doctor at Shouguang Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital said one of the seriously injured was in a life-threatening condition.
"The fire was big and many workers fled," said the owner of a restaurant some 50-meters away from the factory, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Preliminary investigations indicated that 140 people were in the building when the fire broke.
Search and rescue efforts were concluded today, the report said.
The managers of the company were questioned by the police and investigation into the cause of the incident continues, the report said.
Founded in 1998, Longyuan Food is an export-oriented firm, with 200 employees and an annual production capacity of 50,000 tonnes.