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China reports fewer fatal fires amid safety campaign

(Xinhua)

11:14, October 20, 2012

BEIJING, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- A fire safety campaign that began in June has led to fewer fires and related fatalities, the fire bureau under the Ministry of Public Security said Friday.

Figures released by the bureau on Friday indicated that 14 "relatively major" fires -- with each causing three deaths or more -- have been reported since June 19, when the campaign kicked off, a year-on-year decrease of 17.6 percent.

The fires resulted in 49 deaths and 1.62 million yuan (260,000 U.S. dollars) in direct economic losses, down by 24.6 percent and 91.4 percent, respectively.

A total of 28,830 fires have killed 215 people and led to direct economic losses worth 470 million yuan since the campaign began -- a situation the bureau described as "generally stable."

According to the bureau, fire departments across the country have checked some 3.76 million venues for fire risks thus far.

The ministry has urged fire departments to make greater efforts to find and eliminate fire risks, as well as improve their ability to fight fires in crowded and high-risk areas, such as oil and chemical factories.
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