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Shenzhen vice mayor punished over nightclub fire

THE vice mayor of south China's Shenzhen has been punished over a nightclub fire that killed 44 people last year.

The disciplinary supervising authority of Guangdong Province has announced an administrative demerit for Li Ming, Shenzhen's vice mayor and public security director, today's Southern Metropolis Daily reported.

A fire broke out about 10:49pm on September 20 at the King of the Dancers nightclub in Shenzhen's Longgang District, when more than 300 people were watching a performance and fireworks ignited flammable material in the ceiling.

Forty-four people were killed and 58 others were injured during the accident. Direct economic losses stood at 271,245 yuan (US$39,727).

Along with Li, Longgang's governor Zhang Bei was also given an administrative demerit and vice governor Huang Haiguang was demoted. Wu Shenglong, captain of Longgang's neighborhood law enforcement squad, and Bai Xingrong, vice captain of Longgang's firefighting squad, were sacked.

Another 19 officials were also punished in connection with the fire. Previously, 35 people involved in the accident had been jailed including Longgang's former deputy director Chen Xuming.

Chen was jailed for 11 years in July for taking bribes of 60,000 yuan from the nightclub and turning a blind eye to lax safety measures, drug dealing and prostitution in the club.


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