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Lethal fire probably arson, says official

A FIRE in a chess and card game facility that killed six people on Monday was probably caused by arson, a city official said yesterday.

The fire started around 8:30pm in downtown Yangzhou in Jiangsu Province, said Yao Qili, spokesman of the Yangzhou government.

"The fire was put out soon, and firemen pulled more than 10 people out of the burning room," said Yao, adding that six died in hospital.

Witnesses told Xinhua they had seen a young man carry what appeared to be two containers of gasoline into the facility on Monday evening before the fire broke out.

One witness said the man owed about 100 yuan (US$14.70) to the chess room owner and was being hounded to pay his debt.


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