Restaurant Fire Leaves 17 Dead As Inferno Rips Through Diner During Lunchtime

AT least 17 people have been killed after an inferno ripped through a busy restaurant in China.

The horrifying blaze consumed the small diner in the northeastern city of Changchun on Wednesday during the lunchtime rush. Customers were clamoured inside the eatery at 12.40pm when the fire began, according to China's state television channel CCTV.

Three people were also injured in the blaze while the charred remains of 17 people were retrieved from the dilapidated building.

According to reports, the fire broke out in the Hongyu Xiaoyoubing People's Restaurant, situated in the capital of Jilin province.

Fire crews rushed to the scene while helpless locals watched on in horror as the flames overwhelmed the one-storey establishment.