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Court upholds verdict in fatal Shanghai fire

(Xinhua)

10:52, September 02, 2011

SHANGHAI, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- A higher court has rejected the appeal of eight people convicted in last November's fire in a Shanghai apartment building that left 58 dead and 71 others injured.

The Shanghai Municipal Higher People's Court Wednesday upheld the verdict issued by the No. 2 Intermediate People's Court of Shanghai on August 2 in which 26 defendants, including government officials, construction managers, decoration and construction supervising companies, and unlicensed welders, were found guilty.

Sentences ranged from 16 years to exemption from criminal punishment, according to the verdict.

Zhang Quan, who was an official with Jing'an District's construction committee and was charged of abuse of authorities, received a 13-year prison sentence, the most severe among the eight who appealed.

The fire on Jiaozhou Road in Jing'an District gutted a 28-story building that was being renovated. The blaze was started by sparks from welding torches that ignited nylon netting and scaffolding.


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