China reports more serious fires in past eight months

23:20, September 13, 2010      

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The number of serious fires in China over the past eight months has increased by 25 percent over the same period last year, the Ministry of Public Security announced Monday.

However, the total number of deaths in fires was 729, down slightly by 3.2 percent from the same period last year, said Wang Qinlin, deputy director of the ministry's fire department.

The country reported 45 fires that each killed at least three people from January to August, including a fire in Urumqi, in the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on July 19, which killed 12 people, Wang said.

Another in Shenyang, in the northeastern Liaoning Province, on Aug. 28, left 11 dead, said Wang.

A majority of serious fires happened at residence buildings whose fire control measures had loopholes, Wang said.

"Some buildings did not have enough fire exits or exits were blocked. Some used inflammable materials in decorations. Both the administration and residents should be warned of these problems," he said.

The ministry started a four-month nationwide campaign on Monday to inspect fire control facilities at densely inhabited, old and high-rise buildings, he said.

Public places would be closed if they were found using inflammable materials in decorations or failing to have the requisite number of exits and fire extinguishers, he said.

Construction projects would be suspended if the designed fire controls failed to meet standards, he said.

The country reported 89,000 fires in the past eight months, according to the ministry.

Source: Xinhua


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