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December 20, 2010

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Inferno victims remembered

FAMILIES and friends of the dead victims of the November 15 high-rise blaze gathered at the gutted building again yesterday to remember their loved ones.

Yesterday was the 35th day after the blaze, which is an important day in the Chinese tradition for mourning and remembering those who have passed away.

Dishes of chicken, duck and fish were brought to the building at the corner of -Jiaozhou Road and Yuyao Road in Jing'an District as a meal for the deceased, whose spirits are said to come back on the day.

The families wept as they burned paper offerings such as silver ingots and houses.

Thousands of residents came to the building yesterday to mourn the victims.

Some of them brought bunches of chrysanthemums and many stood for a long time in silent tribute.

"I will not and the city will not forget them," said a man surnamed Liu, who brought a bunch of yellow chrysanthemums. "None of my relatives lived in the building, but we are all living in the same city and the tragedy was close to everyone."

Residents were still seen coming to mourn for the victims at night.

"We think it's necessary to come to mourn and pay our respects to the dead people," a couple told Shanghai Daily.

Police officers were sent to the scene to make sure the event passed peacefully, but no problems were reported.

Residents of the two neighboring buildings on Jiaozhou Road will be able to move back to their homes today, as inspections by the city's construction authorities have shown that the two high-rises were not damaged by the blaze and have been judged safe in terms of structure and earthquake-resistance.


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