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February 21, 2010

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35 die in holiday fires

THIRTY-FIVE people were killed in 7,480 accidental fires that broke out around China during the Spring Festival holiday, the Ministry of Public Security said yesterday.

The blazes from fireworks and appliance accidents led to direct losses valued at 28.5 million yuan (US$4.17 million), the ministry said.

The death toll in fires occurring from February 12 to noon on February 19 was nearly half that of last year, and no single accidental fire killed more than three people or seriously injured more than 10, the ministry said.

The figures did not include fires in forests, grasslands and mines. China's fire authorities intensified patrols and security checks during Spring Festival when the largest number of residential fires occurs due to fireworks being set off.

Fire authorities dispatched more than 180,000 firefighters and rescued 1,585 stranded people during the break.

Also, the number of road accidents, the death toll and property losses caused by them fell by 25.2 percent, 35.2 percent and 14.1 percent respectively.


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