Tags: naked | bathers | flee | bathhouse | fire

Naked Bathers Flee Fire Ripping Through Chinese Bathhouse

Friday, 22 Mar 2013 03:02 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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Naked bathers were forced to run for their lives as a fire ripped through a bathhouse in a crowded neighborhood in China, killing one and injuring six.

The bathers fled the building, running naked through the streets in Leqing, Zhejiang province, as the flames raged, the Daily Mail reported Thursday.

"One minute I was soaking in the tub, the next I could smell smoke and hear screams," one bathhouse customer told the Daily Mail. "There was no time to get my clothes. I just ran for my life."

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The fire reportedly began in a neighboring apartment's kitchen after a gas pipe exploded, and soon spread to the whole block, said a city fire official. Only after three neighboring houses had burned down were firefighters able to contain the inferno, the Inquisitr reported.

"The fire spread very rapidly and we were lucky that more people didn't die," a fireman said.

Eye witnesses described naked customers running out from the bathhouse, and once they were safe quickly trying to find anything possible to cover themselves up as they watched emergency services arrive and the building burn down. Several photographs snapped during the incident show firefighters attempting to control the blaze as naked bathers wander the street.

Bathhouses are common in China as a place to relax, rejuvenate, and cleanse the body and mind. Most consist of several tubs, sauna rooms, massage rooms, and whirlpools.

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In 1995, 18 female bathhouse attendants died when a fire ripped through a four-story establishment in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, the Los Angees Times reported.

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