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Detentions rise in CCTV fire inquiry

ANOTHER three officials have been detained in a probe into February's fatal fire at the new headquarters complex of China Central Television in Beijing.

Wang Shirong, vice director of CCTV's construction office; Geng Xiaowei, a technology official; and Gao Hong, chief engineer of the project's management company, were held last week for possible "economic problems," China News Service reported yesterday without revealing details.

Twenty people have now been detained in connection with the blaze.

According to media reports, Xu Wei, the former head of the construction office who was detained shortly after the accident, confessed that he had economic problems during bidding process and said he tried to commit suicide in jail but failed.

An unapproved fireworks display organized by CCTV caused flames to begin pouring out of the TV station's complex at 8:27pm on February 9, the night of the Chinese Lantern Festival, and the fire wasn't put out until around 2am the following day.

The blaze destroyed a nearly completed Mandarin Oriental Hotel in the 30-story building in Beijing's central business district.

A fireman died in the blaze.


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