At least 26 firefighters were killed after being sent to extinguish a forest fire in remote mountains in Sichuan, China, authorities confirmed on Monday, April 1.
According to the ministry of emergency management, hundreds of firefighters were deployed to battle the blaze that broke out Saturday evening on steep terrain at a 4,000 meters altitude in Muli County.
In a statement released to media, the ministry said that authorities lost contact with 30 firefighters next day after a vast change in wind direction ignited a "huge fireball."
26 dead bodies of the rescuers have been found and officials are looking for the other missing crew.
The statement added that President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have instructed to respond to the emergency.
According to the official Xinhua news agency, a separate forest fire in the northern province of Shanxi was taken under control on Sunday, two days after the fire broke out.
The blazed led more than 9,000 people in the area to be evacuated from their homes. The fire did not cause any casualties.
The causes how the blazes broke out are being investigated.
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