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10 killed in Japan hospital fire

A fire has killed 10 people at a hospital in southern Japan.

Fukuoka police said eight others were injured in the blaze at an orthopaedic hospital that apparently caught them in their sleep.

Officers said eight of the dead were patients and two were hospital staff.

Conditions of those injured were not immediately known. Media reports say a total of 18 people were at the hospital at the time of the fire, which has been put out.

Police said the fire started from the first floor of the four-storey building, but the cause is still under investigation.

Several of those injured were in serious condition, said Akiharu Otsu, a Fukuoka city fire department official. The fire was extinguished after burning most of the building, he added.

There was no sign of an initial fire extinguishing effort at the hospital and fireproof doors on the second and third floors were not properly used, said an unidentified fire department official.

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