TOKYO: At least ten people were killed as a fire ripped through a hospital in southwestern Japan on Friday, police said, with elderly patients and staff among the dead. The blaze, which erupted in the middle of the night, left a further eight people injured, according to police, with broadcasters saying four of them were in a critical condition. Video footage aired on public broadcaster NHK showed firefighters surrounding the hospital in the city of Fukuoka, as smoke poured from the front entrance of the partially gutted building. Dark streaks of soot were smeared across the second floor windows. “We have confirmed the deaths of 10 people—eight in-patients and two hospital workers,” said a local police spokesman. The fire raged for around two hours, having started at 2:20 a.m. at the four-story building, which opened as an orthopedic hospital in 1970.