Fire at Japanese hospital kills 10
Firefighters attempt to contain a fire that has killed 10 people at a hospital in Fukuoka, western Japan on October 11, 2013
"We have confirmed the deaths of 10 people -- eight in-patients and two hospital workers," said a local police spokesman in the southern Japanese prefecture of Fukuoka.
A further eight people were injured in the blaze, according to police who added that the condition of the injured was not immediately known.
Video footage aired on public broadcaster NHK showed firefighters surrounding the hospital as smoke poured out the front entrance of the building, parts of which were gutted by the fire. Dark streaks of soot were smeared across the second floor windows.
The fire is believed to have started around 2:20am (1720 GMT) at the four-story building and was put out more than two hours later.
"The cause of the fire is yet to be determined," the police official said, adding that the victims have yet to be identified.
Opened in 1970, the orthopedic hospital is located in a quiet residential area, local media said, adding that many of the inpatients were elderly.
NHK quoted a firefighter as saying the building was already belching out flames when fire engines arrived there.
A 43-year-old woman living in the neighbourhood told the network: "A lot of smoke came to the front door of my house and I heard shouts like 'Help!' and crunching sounds."
Jiji Press news agency said some elderly patients were seen being rushed out of the hospital while ambulance crews were giving them heart massages.
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