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China sets up investigation team for building fire that killed 39


 , Updated 22:58, 26-Jan-2024

The State Council has set up an inquiry team to investigate the building fire that broke out on Wednesday in the city of Xinyu in east China's Jiangxi Province.

The fire, which killed 39 and injured nine others, broke out at around 3 p.m. Wednesday after workers doing refurbishment of a cold storage facility inside the basement used fire illegally, said Xu Hong, mayor of Xinyu, at a press conference on Thursday.

The victims were mainly students of a training school and people who lived in a hotel on the second floor of the building. 

The investigation team held the first meeting Friday afternoon, during which Song Yuanming, head of the team and vice minister of the Ministry of Emergency Management (MEE), delivered the investigation arrangement and put forward the work requirements.

The meeting called for efforts to identify the cause of the accident as soon as possible, find those accountable and conduct widespread safety hazard inspections swiftly around the small-scale business premises to eliminate major risks.

The team is led by the MEE, with the participation of the Ministry of Public Security, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, the National Fire and Rescue Administration, and the Jiangxi provincial government.

A total of 12 people responsible for the fire were taken into custody and are being investigated by the public security authorities, according to Thursday's press conference.

(With input from Xinhua)

(Cover: An exterior view of the building where a fire broke out in Xinyu City, east China's Jiangxi Province, January 24, 2024. /Xinhua)

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