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September 20, 2011

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Dates set for handover of city blaze donations

Donations for victims of the Jiaozhou Road high-rise inferno and their families will all be distributed soon, the Jing'an District Charity Foundation said yesterday.

The fire on November 15 last year killed 58 people and injured 71.

Money still to be handed over amounts to around 26.3 million yuan (US$4.1 million), officials said.

Earlier, there had been accusations that most of the donations collected after the fire had gone missing. A victims group wrote an open letter to the city government, demanding that the donations be handed out.

They said the Shanghai Charity Foundation and its district branches had received more than 44.8 million yuan, but just 4.2 million had been distributed.

The foundation denied the accusations.

Direct economic losses from the fire in the residential building were put at 158 million yuan.

The remainder of the donations will be dealt with in two ways. Money where the donors designated the recipients will go to the recipients directly. The rest will be handed out in the form of subsidies during holidays, or in summer and winter for cooling or heating supplies.

Some will be distributed at the end of the month, said the foundation.

Some victims haven't yet drawn their donations, officials said - a sum totaling 640,000 yuan.

They said money from the Shanghai Senior Citizens Foundation, designated for victims over the age of 60, had all been handed out.

The charity foundation said that up to September 5, it had received about 54.6 million yuan in donations, of which some 28.3 million yuan had been distributed. There is no fund management fee.

The donations came from all walks of life, including companies, temples, theaters and individuals.

The main recipient of donations were the charity foundation and its district branches. Donations also went to the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau and Shanghai Senior Citizens Foundation.

The charity foundation said it would disclose the auditing results of the donation distribution at a later date.


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