China / Society

Water company arson leaves 3 dead, injures 4

By Feng Zhiwei in Changsha and Jin Haixing in Beijing (China Daily) Updated: 2012-08-28 07:34

A deliberately set gasoline fire at a Hunan province tap-water company killed three people and injured four others on Monday morning, local authorities said.

Shi Yanfei, a company retiree, rushed into a conference room on the sixth floor of Qingquan Tower in Shaoyang city at 10:05 am and set it on fire during a meeting of company officials, Shaoyang government's publicity department said on Monday.

Water company arson leaves 3 dead, injures 4

A police officer investigates the scene of an arson that killed three people on Monday in Shaoyang, Hunan province. Guo Guoquan / for China Daily

Shi threw gasoline on the company leaders in the room, ignited the gasoline and jumped out the building, but was rescued by police.

General Manager and Party Chief Long Xinmin and two deputy general managers of the company were killed, while another three company heads were injured. Shi and the other injured people were taken to a local hospital, according to a Xinhua report on Monday.

A doctor from the department of burn at the Central Hospital of Shaoyang confirmed on Monday afternoon that the four injured were sent to that hospital.

Shi was heavily injured and the three other injured were in stable condition, said Luo Limin, an official from the publicity department of Shaoyang.

Photos from local online forums showed that the windows of a room in the building's sixth floor had been damaged, and the outer wall of the building was blackened. The fire caught the attention of many residents near the building, which is owned by the company.

A preliminary investigation said Shi's motivation may have been her anger over the company's refusal to hire her second child. Shi's first child has been working at the company, the publicity department said on Monday.

Shi is one of the company's early-retirement workers.

A male employee of the company said on Monday afternoon that the operation of the company was normal, and the arson did not affect the water supply in Shaoyang.

Local police have set up a special team to investigate the case.

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Wen Xinzheng in Changsha contributed to this story.

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