Fire kills 15 at south China ceramics factory

Updated: 2011-08-23 20:25

(chinadaily.com.cn)

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Fire kills 15 at south China ceramics factory

Firefighters put out a fire at a ceramics factory in Foshan, South China's Guangdong province, Aug 23, 2011. The fire in the four-storey building in the Shengfeng Ceramics Company in the city killed 15 people and injured two others on Tuesday morning. The cause of the fire is under investigation. [Photo/Xinhua]

GUANGZHOU - A fire at a ceramics factory killed 15 people and seriously injured one Tuesday morning in south China's Guangdong Province, local authorities said.

The fire broke out at 6:18 am, engulfing a building of the Shengfeng Ceramics Company in Sanshui District in the city of Foshan, said Sun Jiangmin, an official with the provincial fire department.

Among the casualties, 12 were killed in the fire and one died later in a hospital. Another two died after jumping from the four-story building, said Sun.

The building has both dormitories and offices inside, he said.

According to Sun, the fire started on the second floor and quickly spread to other floors but it is so far unclear how it started.

Sun blamed the large number of casualties on the building's poor fire alarm system and flammable interior decoration materials.

Over 100 firefighters and 24 fire trucks were mobilized to extinguish the blaze which was put out about two hours later.

About 10 hours after the fire, the burning smell continued to linger in the air and a Xinhua reporter saw a mass of glass fragments scattered on the ground at the site.

The reinforced concrete building was put into use in 2003, with each floor covering 1,100 square meters. The fire burnt an area of 3,250 square meters.

Local police have held the factory's legal representative, 46-year-old Huo Jinhong, in custody.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

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