At least 18 people were killed and 12 more injured after a fire broke out at a rehabilitation clinic in the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil on Friday.

The fire reportedly occurred at the 'New Life' clinic for treatment of addiction to drugs and alcohol. The fire was reported at 15:24 local time (20:24 GMT).

Around 60 firefighters were dispatched to the scene to combat the fire. The causes of the fire are being investigated, with preliminary reports suggesting that the fire was set by the people inside the clinic.

Most of the victims are believed to have died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Guayas Governor Raul Ledesma said, "It is not right to have such clandestine clinics, which are not formally or informally verified by the authorities, [and which operate] without the evacuation protocols, emergency exit doors or fire extinguishers, where people are locked inside."

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