Business dispute leads to hotel fire that kills 10 in NE China

13:45, May 06, 2011      

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Police have uncovered an incident of arson that killed 10 people and injured 35 in northeast China's Jilin Province last Sunday, local authorities said Friday.

A former deputy manager hired others to start a fire in an underground bar in the city of Tonghua, the municipal publicity department of Tonghua said in a statement. The statement said that the fire sent thick clouds of smoke into an upstairs hotel.

The deputy manager, who was only identified as Wang, confessed that he hired six people to set the fire in an act of revenge against the bar's manager, Qiu. Wang said that he had previously failed to obtain the right of the bar's management from Qiu.

The fire broke out early Sunday morning in the building, which houses a hotel belonging to Home Inns, the country's largest budget hotel operator.

The seven-story building also contains a karaoke house and a restaurant, located on the floors directly above the bar. The Home Inns hotel is located on the floors above the restaurant.

The ten victims suffocated from the deadly smoke, according to police.

The seven suspects were detained on Tuesday, police said.

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