ROME - Four people were killed and two others seriously injured Sunday in a fire in a Chinese-run garment factory in Italy's Tuscany region, media reports said.
Firefighters were called to the scene after a passer-by spotted the blaze at around 0600 GMT in the textile town of Prato, just north of Florence in central Italy, according to local television.
"We saw a column of smoke and we ran towards it. There were two Chinese, a man and a woman, completely covered in soot. They were screaming, flames were coming out of the warehouse," police officer Leonardo Tucia told the Corriere Fiorentino newspaper.
Firefighters told local media that four people had lost their lives in the inferno.
The nationalities of the deceased have not been made public but they are believed to be Chinese as 14 Chinese workers are understood to have been living at the factory site.
The cause of the blaze was not yet known but the flames were thought to have led to the collapse of a portion of the building housing a dormitory for workers, local media said.
The two injured people sustained grave burn injuries. A third victim, a woman, suffered from smoke inhalation but was not considered to be in a serious condition.
For the past two decades, Chinese immigrants have played a dominant role in Prato's garment industry.
The city is officially home to some 17,000 Chinese nationals, according to official data from 2010, but local sources say the real figure is closer to 50,000.