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December 4, 2010

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Firecrackers man held

POLICE detained a local man after finding 43 cases of firecrackers illegally stored in apartments in a residential area.

Following a tip-off from neighbors, police and firefighters went to a complex at 1042 Changhua Road in Putuo District on Thursday night.

A resident surnamed Cheng had been using the apartments as warehouses for his firecrackers business for more than a year.

Neighbors had been concerned about these activities and their worries were heightened in the wake of the downtown high-rise blaze on November 15 that killed 58 and injured 71.

Cheng was detained after 43 cases of firecrackers were discovered in the basement and in Room 203 of the building.

Police said he would be detained for 15 days and that all the firecrackers had been confiscated and removed.

Cheng said he had first bought firecrackers from peddlers, giving him the idea of setting up a business, according to the police.

Police said Cheng had told an undercover reporter, who Cheng believed to be a potential buyer, that he had been selling firecrackers for 10 years.

He claimed this was just a boast to get the business under way.

Shanghai launched a citywide inspection of public venues and residential buildings last month to check fire safety arrangements in the aftermath of the Jiaozhou Road blaze.


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