Witnesses said more than 20 people armed with iron bars stormed the hospital's fourth floor Tuesday, striking medical staff and breaking objects, China's state-run news agency Xinhua reported.
The witnesses said shattered glass, paper and ripped drapes were strewn about an office in the in-patient building of Xi'an Municipal Central Hospital in Shaanxi province.
Witnesses said hospital security guards were overwhelmed and five doctors and nurses were injured in the melee. Two police officers also were injured.
A hospital employee told Xinhua the incident likely arose from a dispute between the hospital and relatives of a meningitis patient who died.