Accidental fires killed 42 people in China over the weeklong Lunar New Year
holiday, down sharply from the fire death toll during last year's holiday
period, the official Xinhua News Agency said Sunday.
The report did
not say what caused the fires, but Beijing and other cities lifted a decade-old
ban last year on fireworks, and residents set off millions of firecrackers to
During last year's Lunar New Year holiday, 63 people were killed in
accidental blazes, Xinhua said.
More than 9,100 fires were reported during the February 17-24 period, down
26.1 percent from last year's 13,000 accidental fires, it said.
In a separate report, Xinhua said 663 people were injured by setting off
fireworks during the holiday week in Beijing, up slightly from last year when
654 people were injured.
Improper use was blamed for 63 percent of the injuries while shoddy fireworks
were blamed for the rest.
Lighting firecrackers and fireworks is part in a Chinese New Year tradition
meant to drive away bad luck and scare off evil spirits.