China to launch nationwide fire safety drive

Beijing, June 10 (IANS) Chinese government is launching a four-month nationwide campaign to carry out checks and remove fire hazards in the wake of recent incidents which caused heavy casualties and loss of properties in the country.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, the campaign, being launched Monday and will last till Oct.15, is part of measures to prevent major fires, Xinhua reported Sunday.

It will primarily focus on checks at hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, hospitals and production plants of labor-intensive companies.

Checks will also cover high-rise buildings, construction sites and businesses producing or selling flammable or explosive materials.

Fire-fighting equipment and evacuation routes will also be checked, the ministry said.

Serious punishments will be handed down to those who are not actively involved in the campaign, and major fire risks will be exposed.

A plant fire in China's Jilin province recently killed 120 people and injured 77. In another incident, a bus fire claimed 47 lives Friday in Chinese city of Xiamen.

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