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Fire department breaches duty in fatal fire: report


08:16, July 12, 2013

BEIJING, July 12 (Xinhua) -- An investigation report on Jilin poultry plant fire, published on Thursday, said the local fire department breached its duty to find and address fire hazards properly.

The report detailed the causes of the deadly accident, and suggested punishment for those responsible as well as measures for preventing similar accidents.

A fire ripped through a poultry plant owned by the Jilin Baoyuanfeng Poultry Company in Dehui City on June 3, leaving 121 dead and 76 injured and causing a direct economic loss of 182 million yuan (29.45 million U.S. dollars).

The investigation report listed several causes behind the high death toll.

There were poisonous gases at the time of the accident, including those produced by flammable materials when they caught fire and leaking toxic gas, such as ammonia.

The design of the factory's evacuation passages was complicated and some of its emergency exits were locked when the accident happened.

Alarm devices were not installed in the main factory building. As a result, the factory workers lost the best chance to escape as they learned of the accident too late.

The workers lacked sufficient escape knowledge as the factory had not given work safety and emergency training for them.

The report also placed blame on the fire brigade of Dehui city as it issued an acceptance certificate for the factory's fire control facilities without inspecting and assessing them.

According to the report, the local fire brigade did not seriously investigate into several fire accidents that happened in the Baoyuanfeng poultry factory in 2010, resulting in a lack of safety awareness on the part of the factory owners.

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