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According to Chinese state media, a fire erupted on Tuesday in the inpatient department of Beijing Changfeng Hospital, resulting in the unfortunate deaths of 21 individuals and the evacuation of 71 patients by the hospital staff.

A woman was captured on a startling video on Twitter, shimmying down her improvised rope and landing on the roof below before running away.

Meanwhile, other people in distress sought refuge on air conditioning units outside the windows to escape the smoke. Social media videos of the incident depict thick black smoke emanating from the building.

The fire in Beijing Changfeng Hospital is said to have originated from the hospital admissions building around midday, as reported by China Daily.

According to a witness who posted on Weibo, the scene was tragic as numerous people were seen standing on the air-conditioning unit to avoid the flames, with some resorting to jumping off the building in desperation.

Videos show individuals using makeshift ropes created from bedsheets to escape the building by climbing out of the windows. According to Dimsum Daily News, the fire was put out approximately an hour and a half after it began, at around 1:33 pm. State media sources have also confirmed that rescue operations have been completed and the fire has been extinguished.

Investigations are being carried out to determine the cause of the fire.

After the incident, Chinese President Xi Jinping has issued directives for a comprehensive initiative to aid the injured. Online footage and images depict a large number of fire trucks gathered around the hospital building.