Holiday fires claim 15 lives in China

Updated: 2007-05-08 21:09

Fifteen people were killed and seven others injured in accidental fires across China over the week-long Labor Day holiday, the police announced on Tuesday.

A total of 3,243 fires were reported during the May 1-7 period, down 36.1 percent from the number in the same period last year, the Ministry of Public Security said in a brief press release.

The economic loss amounted to 9.7 million yuan (1.11 million U.S. dollars).

China's holiday periods usually pose major challenges to the country's fire prevention teams as larger numbers of people accumulate in entertainment venues and public places.

But police say increased fire prevention monitoring and more effective emergency plans have managed to keep the number of casualties down.

The death toll plunged nearly 50 percent and the number of injured was reduced by a remarkable 84.8 percent, the police said.

A string of forest fires broke out during this year's May holiday. One in the remote border region of northeast China ravaged 10,400 hectares of land, including 10,317 hectares of grassland and 83 hectares of woods.

The fire, which broke out on Monday afternoon in the Hannuohe forestry center, was finally brought under control on Friday with the efforts of about 10,000 fire-fighters and at least ten helicopters. No casualties were reported.

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