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Flammable materials blamed for deadly blaze in China


08:14, June 05, 2013

CHANGCHUN, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Flammable construction materials and insufficient fire prevention equipment contributed to a plant fire that killed at least 119 people in northeast China's Jilin Province on Monday, a government official said Tuesday.

Gao Guangbin, Communist Party of China (CPC) chief of the provincial capital of Changchun, also blamed poor design of the exits of the poultry processing plant, which made the escape difficult.

"All construction materials used to build the workshop were flammable, creating an enormous fire hazard," Gao said.

The fire, which occurred early Monday morning at the poultry processing plant in the city of Dehui, killed 119 people and injured 77 others. Investigators are still trying to identify the exact cause of the blast and the fire.

Authorities have notified the families of the deceased so that they may claim the victims' bodies, said Zhao Xian, deputy secretary-general of the municipal government of Changchun, at a press conference held Tuesday afternoon.

Sixty-seven bodies have been identified and technicians are trying to identify the others using DNA testing, Zhao said.

The Changchun government has ordered checks for public places like schools, hospitals, entertainment venues and shopping malls to remove fire hazards.

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