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January 23, 2010

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Probe into CCTV fire finds no corruption link

NO corruption was found among officials linked to a fire engulfing the new building of China's state television after a year-long investigation.

Beijing's Chaoyang District People's Procuratorate Office said it has completed its investigation and will soon file charges against more than 20 people arrested, yesterday's Chongqing Evening News reported.

The fire on the night of February 9 last year involved a 30-story building which housed the nearly completed Mandarin Oriental Hotel, part of China Central Television's new headquarters in Beijing's central business district.

One fireman died and six firemen and a construction worker were injured.

CCTV had hired a company to light fireworks outside the building's Mandarin Oriental Hotel that night for the Chinese Lantern Festival.

The suspects include staff from CCTV, the fireworks company, the building's designer, builder, supervisor and suppliers.

They will be tried in two groups, the newspaper reported, citing close sources to the case. The first batch is due to go to trial before mid February and the rest around March.

Most will be charged with causing an accident with dangerous articles or causing serious project accident.

Xu Wei, the former head of CCTV's construction office, will be the highest ranking official among the defendants.


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