BEIJING : A blaze which engulfed a Chinese food market killed 16 people in the early hours of Wednesday, firefighters and state media said. The inferno raged through the Rongjian Agricultural Wholesale Market in Shenzhen bordering Hong Kong, the city’s fire department said. The state news agency Xinhua said 16 people including an infant girl were killed and five injured, and the market manager was in police custody. It took 145 firefighters and 29 fire engines a hour and half to put out the blaze, the fire department said on its verified account on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter.

The cause of the fire was still under investigation and rescuers were still searching the site.

Zhang Xiaowei, spokesman for the city fire department, was quoted by Xinhua as saying all the victims were people associated with four stores in the market.