Fire kills 13 at Chinese theme park at start of long holiday

BEIJING (AP) — A fire at a tourist site in China killed 13 people on the first day of an eight-day national holiday, authorities said.

The fire engulfed an exhibition hall of ice lantern and snow sculptures Thursday at the Taitaishan theme park on the outskirts of Taiyuan city in Shanxi province, the Ministry of Emergency Management said.

Another 15 people were injured and taken to hospitals, where they were in stable condition, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Millions of people are expected to travel in China during the holiday in a much anticipated a boost to an economy hit hard by COVID-19.

Taitaishan is a sprawling park with several museums, rides and other attractions.

The Work Safety Committee of the State Council, a national-level organization, will oversee the investigation into the fire, the emergency management ministry said.