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Fire kills 1 on China's Lantern Festival


09:21, February 26, 2013

BEIJING, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- One person was killed in a fire that occurred on China's Lantern Festival, which fell on Feb. 24, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) said Monday.

A total of 1,482 fires were reported nationwide on Sunday, causing direct economic losses of 4.39 million yuan (703,926 U.S. dollars), the MPS's fire department said.

No major fires, or fires that result in three or more deaths, took place and 280 people were rescued from fires on the holiday, the ministry said.

The Lantern Festival, which traditionally brings an end to the Chinese Spring Festival season, is highly prone to accidents as celebrations on this day include fireworks and lantern displays. Lantern Festival is held on the 15th day of the first month on the Chinese lunar calendar.

Thirty-six people were killed in fires across the country during this year's Spring Festival holiday, which lasted from Feb. 9 to 15.

To prevent holiday fire accidents, strong measures were taken, including checks of fire hazards in major public places like markets, hotels and entertainment venues, according to the ministry.

Although local governments usually allow citizens to set off fireworks in designated areas during the Spring Festival holiday, many areas have banned fireworks due to air pollution and safety concerns

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