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February 24, 2010

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Fire spurs citywide inspection campaign

THE city will check potential safety problems hidden in businesses one by one, after a deadly fire roared through a recycling center in Qingpu District, local authorities said yesterday.

Any enterprise which does not meet safety requirements will be ordered to make corrections and will be shut down if no improvement is made, said a conference of the Shanghai Administration of Work Safety.

Companies without certain licenses will be forced to close their doors.

Mayor Han Zheng said at the meeting there could be 300 mild accidents, 300 accidents that failed to happen and 1,000 potential safety problems behind each severe accident.

"We should concentrate on finding out and eliminating those potential safety problems, because they are root cause to those severe accidents," Han said.

The city should aim for all businesses across the city to be safe places by March 1, officials at the conference said.

No license

The recycling center that caught fire on Sunday and killed six people and injured another eight did not have a license to store and deal with flammable chemical substances.

The fire was triggered by an explosion of chemical containers during the waste-treatment process, an investigation showed.

The work-safety watchdog said that companies involved in the production, storage and expansion of dangerous chemicals will stop work during the 2010 World Expo in designated areas.

Three of the five severely injured in Sunday's fire are in stable condition and will have further operations in the next 24 hours, the hospital said.

A man burnt on 11 percent of his body in the fire had a clog in his respiratory tract and was in critical condition, the hospital said.


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