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China on fire alert ahead of holiday

(Xinhua)

09:19, September 28, 2012

BEIJING, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Firefighters across China are on alert ahead of the upcoming eight-day holiday, according to a Thursday statement from the Ministry of Public Security.

The Mid-autumn Day plus National Day combo-holiday runs from Sept. 30 to Oct. 7, with hundreds of millions of Chinese people expected to travel.

During the week-long National Day holiday last year, 1,514 fire accidents were reported, which resulted in three deaths and five injuries.

The ministry has ordered local authorities to take effective measures to examine and reduce fire risks at shopping malls, hotels, entertainment venues, transportation hubs and tourist destinations to prevent major accidents.

It also pledged to educate the public of key life-saving tips and fire prevention knowledge through mass media.

A total of 46,653 fires broke out in China in the first seven months of the year, leaving 399 people dead and another 258 injured.

The number of fire cases and the death toll have seen year-on-year declines of 49.8 percent and 54 percent, respectively, according to the ministry.

The disasters brought direct economic losses of 830 million yuan (131.7 million U.S. dollars), down 43.8 percent year-on-year.

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