Forest fire kills 11 in Guangxi
( 2004-01-05 09:36) (Xinhua)
Eleven people have died
fighting a forest fire in Yulin City, southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang
Autonomous Region, according to local officials.
More than 1,000 residents and five teams of forest firefighters helped to
evacuate homes and battle the blaze after it started Saturday afternoon in a
commercial forest at Maijiu township.
The 11 dead were discovered on Sunday morning after the fire was reported to
be under control.
They included eight officials of the township government and the local
forestry station, two forest rangers and a driver.
The fire also destroyed about 93 hectares of forest.
Local police said the blaze was caused by Liang Zhishu, a villager of Maijiu,
who confessed he threw away a burning cigarette butt while walking through the
forest. Liang has been detained and further investigations are underway.
Forest rangers are patrolling to prevent further fires.