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China launches campaign to curb fires

(Xinhua)

09:21, September 27, 2011

BEIJING, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Public Security launched a nationwide campaign, beginning Monday, to deal with hidden problems that may cause fires.

The ministry has taken a series of measures to prevent fire throughout the country since a big fire in Shanghai engulfed an apartment building and killed 58 people last November, said Vice-Minister Liu Jinguo at a televised national conference on the issue.

However, the anti-fire situation has remained serious, in some areas in particular, the official said. The new campaign, "not to miss even one community, one village or one unit", is aimed to reduce the numbers of deaths and injuries in fires remarkably, he stressed.

He urged local authorities to set up special headquarters to direct the action at different levels, while special actions should be carried out during holidays and festivals.

In the first six months of this year, China reported a total of 83,983 fire cases, which left 749 people dead and 359 injured, and caused a direct financial loss of 1.16 billion yuan (about 183 million U.S. dollars).

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