Related News

Home » Nation

12 held over CCTV tower fire

A HIGH-LEVEL official at China Central Television and 11 others have been detained by Beijing police over Monday night's fatal fire that caused extensive damage to a building designed to house part of the broadcaster's new headquarters, the municipal public security bureau said yesterday.

Xu Wei, who was in charge of site construction, was taken to a police station in Beijing's central business district after flames engulfed the 30-story building, according to a bureau spokesman. Authorities said they suspect Xu was responsible for starting the fire by using banned fireworks.

China's top prosecutors revealed yesterday that a section of the local prosecutors office that deals with dereliction of duty is involved in the investigation.

Xu, born in 1959, is a native of Beijing and began working for CCTV in 1983.

Three other CCTV workers and eight employees of a Hunan Province fireworks company that was hired to provide the pyrotechnic display were also detained, the spokesman said.

Monday marked the Lantern Festival, the end of the Lunar New Year celebrations and the last day fireworks were allowed in downtown Beijing for the annual holiday period.

Some CCTV workers said they received a text message inviting them to a grand fireworks display at 8pm outside the nearly completed building. When flames erupted from the structure, which houses some CCTV facilities as well as the unopened Mandarin Oriental hotel, the eight fireworks operators fled, authorities said. Police caught the group in Langfang on the Beijing-Hebei Province border the next day.

A Beijing government spokesman said the fireworks were extremely dangerous and required government approval before they could be set off. He said CCTV had not received approval and that its workers ignored police warnings about lighting the display.

A source close to CCTV who declined to be named said CCTV spent about 1 million yuan (US$146,000) on the festive explosives this year.

One firefighter died from breathing toxic fumes and six firemen and a construction worker were sent for hospital treatment.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend