Eleven elders killed in welfare facility blaze

Updated 2018-02-01 15:11:01

Eleven people were killed when a welfare facility for senior citizens caught fire on Wednesday in Japan's northernmost prefecture of Sapporo, local police said.

The dead, eight men and three women, were among the 16 residents of the facility. The remaining five were hospitalized.

The fire broke out at 11:40 p.m. local time, and the cause is still under investigation. The razed building was reportedly a former three-story inn that had been rented as a home for senior homeless people.

Japan is a rapidly aging society. There are an estimated 200 or so homeless elders in north Sapporo.

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